Shout People, Shout!

Joshua 6:20 – So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

Have you ever been to an arena for a game or a concert with throngs of jubilant fans?  Often people gather before the event at local restaurants or in the parking lot of the venue to enjoy games and food with fellow fans talking about their expectations. Then the crowds pour into the arena for the main event.  It is loud and noisy.  The crowds focus on the event cheering in one accord, shouting their approval or groaning in dispair with the success or failure of their favorite players or performers.  

As a minister, I am often saddened that we focus so much attention on secular entertainment and amusement.  In Europe and the U.S., huge sums of money and countless hours are spent marketing, building stadiums and staffing teams and talent to feed the insatiable appetite for entertainment.  Why?  Because people yearn for escape from their humdrum lives.  Combined with a general trend away from orthodox Christianity, materialism and amusement are often ways to dull the pain of a post-modern world.  

What part does the Church play in this situation?  Do we entertain?  Should we amuse?  Do we give away donuts and concert tickets?  While there is no prohibition against entertainment or fun in the Church, it is not our core mission.  We are charged with glorifying God and ministering to the needs of peoole following the example and instructions of the Lord.  Jesus’s words to Peter struck home when the Risen Lord said, “Feed my sheep.”

By honoring the Lord and obeying His commands, we can triumph against seemingly insurmountable forces.  The plan is simple: Encircle the enemy city awaiting the timing of God and then we shout.  We shout to the Lord.  We move with purpose to fill the spiritual void resulting from materialism and post-modernism with Truth and Love, Hope and Glory, Praise and Thanksgiving.  We are not merely the result of cosmic chance and evolutionary selection with no purpose or direction.  These ideas are the lies of the enemy that tell us we can never tear down their wall.  On the contrary that wall trembles before the truth of God.  

So shout people, shout!   Shout to the Lord with all your might!   You have purpose and meaning.  Cheer on the Lord and His ministers, His champions and His children.   Clap your hands for joy at the grace of God.  Do not let the enemy rob you of hope!  It is not his to take.  No one can separate us from the love of God.  No one.  

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