Clap your hands, all peoples!

Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

Psalm 47: 1


Unfortunately, there is plenty of shouting going on in our world today. We can all attest to being exposed to hearing people literally yelling at each other when quiet discourse would be far more effective in accomplishing what needs to be done. Even when the volume of the voices is held in check, the nature of the words and the intensity of their delivery can still equate to a shouting match. We do it in print, and we do it by using our electronic communication devices. There are days when it seems as if our whole planet has decided to join in a dysfunctional and discordant chorus of worldly hymns in celebration of disagreement and entrenched position holding. Unfortunately, at least for me, none of this is very pleasant, and it does not get much that is good and worthwhile accomplished either.


God did not design His creation to be dysfunctional, and He does not desire for us to be contentious with each other. This fact leads me to consider if there might be a better way to engage with each other in the process of operating this planet. Perhaps if we stopped focusing so intently upon what it is that we want and desire and started to turn our eyes toward the Lord with the same concentrated gaze, we would see the world and each other differently. It might just be worth it for people to stop working so hard to establish their own points of view and start to meditate upon what it is that God would have us think, say, and do. In this process, we could relieve the silence and celebrate God’s revealed truth by joining together with others in singing songs of praise to God and by joyously clapping our hands and dancing.


My point is that worshiping the One who has answers and focusing upon His truth is far more likely to solve the issues that we are facing than is any of the loud and self-serving discourse that is so common these days. May I be so bold as to suggest that we could enter into a period of fasting, as it were, from all public position stating expressions, from calling out the failings of those who hold opposing views about issues, and even from the processes of gathering in the halls of governance to debate and to contest laws and such so that we can turn all of our attention toward the Lord and listen together for His will to be expressed in all matters. Then, as God, who is King and Sovereign Lord over all of Creation, speaks and provides us with His perfect will, we can break out in songs of praise and join hands in a celebratory dance as an expression of delight at the harmony and peace that our God brings to all people.

And He is before all things, and in Him all things are held together.

Colossians 1: 17


Christians often take a great deal of comfort out of this verse. In it we see the fact that God, the Creator, designed our world in a manner that allows it to work, and Christ is still working to this moment in holding the whole thing together. Without His continual engagement our world would collapse and spin out of control in a riot of chaos and calamity. I think that this is a true and accurate reading of the meaning here.


Yet, I also think that there is more. This entire section of Colossians is about Christ. In it Paul discusses the fact that Jesus is involved totally with all aspects of creation and that all of creation was made for Jesus. That all includes us in both ways, for Christ made us, and we have been made to glorify Him. We can take comfort and place absolute trust in the fact that our Lord is loving and just with His creation and with His creatures. When we consider the way that Christ holds it all together, that is the world that is under our feet and the heavens above us; it seems that we have to include ourselves and the lives that we live in that thought.


As people we tend to believe that we have to work hard to keep everything going. So, we believe that if we take our hands off of the steering wheel of life for even a moment the results will be disastrous. This is simply not true. In fact, we are far more likely to be the ones who drive off of the cliff or into the wall than Christ is going to do. I think that Paul is telling us that we can trust the Creator to do what is best for and with us. We are freed from that burden of control, and we are set free to serve Christ out of grace of our redeemed state and status. The Lord is holding my life and yours together, and there is no better care possible.