He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you." So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word" (Matthew 28:6-8).
My five-year old son has been in kindergarten for two months. Since his school days began, he has had difficulty waking up, no matter how early we put him to bed. I have been told that the adjustment for such little ones takes some time. I was surprised, however, when he came into my bedroom one morning last week and awakened his mother and me a full fifteen minutes before the alarm was set to announce the new day. I had learned a few days before that he was going on his first field trip on this day. He was about to take his first school bus ride as well. To say that he was excited would be an understatement. He was bouncing off the walls. His smile was of the sort that stays with a daddy all day, and indeed it did. His was an enthusiasm rarely seen in adults. It was enthusiasm born of an uncluttered, untroubled mind. It was, in a word, beautiful. I sometimes find myself a child again in the enthusiasm of my son.
The word "enthusiasm" is defined as "great excitement or interest in a subject or cause." To be blunt, it is sorely lacking in the worship and service to God of most Christians. In the above Scripture reference, Mary and Mary Magdalene ran to tell the disciples the good news that the grave wasn't able to hold Jesus. They ran because they were excited that Jesus, the great Teacher, was alive again after suffering so horribly and unjustly. Look again at the definition of "enthusiasm." It is obvious that they were excited about the subject, Jesus Christ. They had a great interest in the cause of Jesus Christ. Does God expect any less from us? Then why do we attend worship with the unenthusiastic attitude of clock-watching, dozing off, and mumbling our way through our singing, all the while hoping that it will end soon? Is it possible that our lives are so horrible that we can't worship enthusiastically?
Consider Paul and Barnabas, in Acts 13. They preached the Gospel to the Gentiles in Antioch. They were "glad and glorified the word of the Lord ." (v. 48). Later, Paul and Barnabas were expelled from the region for their enthusiastic teaching. I have to believe that the last verse of this chapter, describing the disciples as "filled with joy and the Holy Spirit" also described the attitudes of Paul and Barnabas as well. Now, how many of us have been run out of town lately? Would we have gone to the next town and spoken boldly in the Lord if we had been run off? (Acts 14:3) What is it that has come between us and enthusiastically worshipping our Creator?
Friends and brethren, our interest should be Jesus Christ. Our cause should be Jesus Christ. Period. By definition, we should be enthusiastic about our worship to our God. If we can't become excited about going to Heaven, should we even expect to be there some day? "Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted" (Isaiah 49:13).
By David Ramey
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