On Sunday we are nabbing an idea that came from my lovely friends Matt and Juls Hollidge (visit their excellent Kore website!!). They were the worship leaders for the Baptist World Youth Conference in Leipzig, as well as at the youth programme at the Baptist World Congress in Birmingham UK, not Alabama). They had the idea that they would find as many different translations of the phrase ‘sing praise’ as possible and use them when we sang ‘Give thanks to the Lord, our God and King’.
It was great – young people from across the world sang in their own language while the rest of us sang an approximation of their language. It helped us feel more united in our worship.
*(Cântă laudă, cântă laudă is Romanian for ‘sing praise, sing praise’)
On the day of Pentecost one of the ways in which the Holy Spirit impacted the world is that he enabled the crowd outside the house where it was kicking off to hear their own language. We don’t know what the words that they were heard but I wonder if it was praise. That’s one of the things the Spirit does: release us in praise. It was a reversal of the fable of Babel (not suggesting anything about the reality of the events in Genesis 11, I just like the rhyme!). God had divided people by giving different languages. Now he united them in the Spirit of God by enabling them to hear their own language.
So what’s your language of praise? Not just your physical language but the way that you praise God? I am constantly reminded that our whole lives are an act of worship to God. The Hebrew words for ‘work’ and ‘worship’ are one and the same. Will people around you hear God’s praise in their own language / culture / style through you / me today?
It may not be words. It may be that un-requested cup of tea. It may be that note of thanks. It may be that encouragement. It may be the hard work you put in for your boss. It may the pride you take in your work – doing it as to the Lord…
Be blessed, be a blessing.