Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:1-10
I’m a big sports fan. And there’s nothing like the feeling of a game coming down to the wire and your favorite team winning at the very last second. What’s usually the reaction when that happens? People go nuts. Smiling, high fiving, screaming, cheering, jumping up and down, and sometimes even being brought to tears. We often express our happiness and joy, even sorrow in physical ways that engage our bodies.
So I had to ask myself, if we express ourselves that way at a sporting event that has no bearing on eternity, why don’t we express ourselves that way when we worship God? God has done the remarkable, He sent His only son to die a horrendous death on our behalf. We did absolutely nothing to earn or deserve that kind of sacrifice. He died and rose again breaking the chains of sin and death and claiming victory. All we have to do is accept the forgiveness of sins that he freely offers. God created us with physical bodies, and he wants us to use them to praise him for what he’s done. When we sing to God, we should engage our bodies in our worship by raising our hands to show surrender, or bowing down to show humility, crying to show remorse, repentance, or sadness, and smiling and laughing to express our joy. God wants us to be like this man who was healed. My challenge: express your thanks and praise in physical ways that appropriately acknowledge what God has done.