Cubs, Brewers, and Our Worship


If you know me well enough, you probably know that I don’t really follow baseball, I can’t give you any stats about the players or the teams that they play for, nor do I honestly care, but I do enjoy a good game and all that come with it (beer, hot dogs, friends, etc.) and watching people and their responses to the game.

cubs winSo having said that, last week was a particularly unusual week for me. Within three days I attended two MLB games: Cubs vs. Brewers (at Wrigley) and Brewers vs. Pirates (at Miller Park). Both games were amazing! In Cubby style, they led 3-0, and then trailed 9-3 and were still down 11-9 going into the ninth inning. I was expecting to go home win another Chicago Cub loss, but I was surprised in the ninth inning! What capped off the game was seeing Starlin Castro hitting an RBI single in the ninth, Anthony Rizzo tying it with a double and then Soriano winning the game with a hit off the center-field wall. The crowd went wild! There was singing, dancing, hugging, high fiving, and just some all around raucous celebrating!

This past Saturday, I went to Milwaukee with my wife and my extended family to see the Brewers play the Pirates. With 32,060 people in attendance, we were able to watch Corey Hart lead off the bottom of the ninth inning with a home run. It was his third career game-ending home run. Again, the crowd went wild! There was singing, dancing, hugging, high fiving, and just some all around raucous celebrating! Emotions after both of these games were running high… especially for the winning teams!

Sunday mornings look nothing like these baseball games (or any other sporting event), do they? Our times of gathered worship all too often are quiet and reserved. Sure there is some singing, but at moderate levels as we don’t want the people next to us to hear our voices. Sure there are times when something in the sermon stirs in our hearts and minds and we think to ourselves, “Amen” but we dare not express it. We fear what others next to us might think if we become more expressive in our worship gatherings.

I often hear that men in particular just aren’t expressive in worship (aka jumping up and down, arms raised, or shouting for joy), but I dare you to watch them in their living room watching a game immediately after Sunday morning worship! When they’re sitting in front of a television watching their favorite team play and a home run or touchdown is scored, and they’re jumping up and (get this) raising their hands, shouting for joy. Suddenly their heart worship has overflowed into expressive bodily praise!

If we can so easily express ourselves vocally and physically in cheering on a bunch of uniformed men in a field, how much more should we be able to do so for the living, redeeming God of the universe? Why should football teams, players, and programs get all the praise? I am convinced that God is infinitely more worthy of our affection and attention.

In the meantime, as you begin to prepare for gathered worship, how about we all meditate on the following Scripture:

Lifting Hands

  • Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary. - Psalm 28:2
  • So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. - Psalm 63:4
  • I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes. - Psalm 119:48
  • Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice! - Psalm 141:2


  • Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob! - Psalm 81:1
  • May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions! - Psalm 20:5


  • Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power. - Psalm 21:13
  • Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. - Psalm 30:4
  • Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts. - Psalm 33:3
  • I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me. - Psalm 13:6

Kneeling/Bowing Down

  • Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! - Psalm 95:6
  • I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. - Psalm 138:2


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