Today was Palm Sunday. A Sunday I can remember vividly throughout my childhood and adulthood. A Sunday that focus on raising the name of Jesus and singing and saying it loud.
Our Pastor used yesterday to continue with a sermon series on High Praise. He went through 12 different Hebrew words that defined “Praise” in the bible. Throughout worship he challenged and stretched us to break out of our “box” of worship and praise. He would introduce and define the words and then we would put it into action.
- Zamar– To make music with the instrumetns and accompany with singing
- Yadah– fully extended arms as a form of surrender
- Towdah– fully extened the hands as a form of sacrifical faith
- Macha– To clap your hands
- Shabach– to shout, loud tones, loud adoration, proclaim with loud voice
- Rowmena– To shrill, high pitched sound, high priase
- Barak– to kneel or to bow as a form of adoration
- Tehillah– to sing a spontaneious new song from your heart to the Lord. Not a written song, origin is with in you.
- Alaz– Jump for Joy
- Karar– to dance, spin, twist, twirl
- Macholah– A complany of dancers
The atmosphere was joyful and indeed full of High Praise. As he was defining the words he came to the last one: HALAL. He defined it as: to be clamorous foolish, to boast, to put on a show, to put the largest expression you can muster on display before the Lord!
The first thought in my head and then told Chris was, ” Does that describe how my dad worshiped or what?” I always think of Dad a lot at Easter. Yes, the hope of heaven and new life gives me the assurance of life after death. A place where I can see my Savior and all those who have believed. In addition to thinking about seeing dad again in heaven, I also think of him at Easter because I know how much he loved to sing and praise.
Dad sang loud, he moved,he would dance, he would wave flags, he lifted his hands! Folks he was HALAL. No matter if the song was a hymn, or a praise songs, old or new, fast or slow. He would put on the largest expression on and display it before the Lord.
Now to be honest, as a teenager and maybe and an adult… I can firmly say that this probably embarrassed me more than once. Why did he need to sing SO loud , or dance like that. I think that today I finally understood. Dad was just praising God, how God himself commanded us to. And you know what? Dad didn’t care what others thought. He was only worshiping for an audience of one.
It was interesting after Dad died people wrote lots of different things to us about him. One college girl who was a member of their church wrote this shortly after he died, ” When I think about Sunday mornings at church. I think of how Keith loved to worship. He was all about it, anticipating every line of every song, sometimes coming in too early, always singing his heart out. ” Dad was marked by the way he worshiped. In the scrapbook that I made about Dad I have three different words phrases that defined dad, “Work Hard, Play Hard and Praise Hard”.
So I pass on the challenge to you!
Get out of your comfort zone in worship
Work on moving in to High Praise
Try all out all those different ways to priase
and make sure you HALAL every once an a while.