“So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands” (Ps. 63:4).
Averie is 7. Something she says a lot is this . . .
- Raise your hand if you know want to play a game.
- Raise your hand if you’re ready to eat.
- Raise your hand if you want to see my Halloween outfit.
So after visiting our church one Sunday morning, she asked at lunch:
Why do people raise their hands at your church?
It was a great question. Why do people raise their hands?
I used to wonder the same thing myself.
I grew up in a conservative church. No one moved their hands during a service except to turn the pages in the hymnal or flip to the next Bible reference. (We were masters at Bible sword drill competitions.)
But now I worship with a body of believers where we comfortably lift hands and clap hands and raise hands to heaven.
It makes perfectly good sense.
Maybe this is why:
- Raise your hand if you agree these lyrics are true.
- Raise your hand if you know God is faithful.
- Raise your hand if you need God to help you.
Granted, we don’t have to lift a finger to assert those same beliefs. But maybe in asking our bodies to participate with our minds, we’re kicking our hearts into gear as well.
Worshiping in spirit and in truth looks differently for every person. There is no one-size-fits-all worship. A paraplegic can worship God just as fully and sincerely as a skilled athlete. A stoic worshiper can be just as pleasing to God as a charismatic dancer. Worship is as individual as we are.
I didn’t explain all that to Averie when she asked. But I’ve continued to think on it myself.
Ultimately, what matters is this: Are we raising our hearts to God?
And if our hands go up at the same time, so be it.
“Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.”
* * *
Did you grow up in a hand-raising church? Or is it foreign to you? Please share in the comments.
If you still haven’t seen this, you’re due some laughter.
- Meet Travis 1. Meet Travis 2.
- Advice for All Ages