The Roar and Silence of a Crowd

Two events were separated by 15 hours and less than two miles, and I attended (and thoroughly enjoyed) them both.

Last Friday night, we went to hear the Atlanta Symphony pay musical tribute to film score composer extraordinaire John Williams. It was an incredible experience!

Then Saturday, we went to Bobby Dodd Stadium to watch the Georgia Bulldogs defeat the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. It, too, was exhilarating.

On the way home, I began to contrast and compare the two events. Both involved team efforts—each member on the field or on the stage making his or her unique contribution. Both audiences came to the venues with grand expectations, and both audiences cheered and applauded exuberantly.

The main differences had to do with the audience’s reactions to the introductions of the players. At the football game, the noisy hubbub grew intense when the starting lineup took the field. You might say it was chaotic adulation. At the concert, however, when the maestro took the stage, the hall went completely silent. It was decorous awe. Both were signs of respect and admiration—just expressed in totally different ways.

After I pondered these things, another comparative thought came to mind: We ought to allow ourselves to run the gamut of emotions and expressions in worship, too. Sometimes as a group we need to cheer God and His people like a frenzied football crowd. Other times, we should be speechless as we bask in the presence of His greatness. Neither is incorrect—just a matter of suitability in the moment.

The Bible validates each expression of praise.

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. (Psalm 105:1) This sounds a lot like the football crowd to me.

Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.(Psalm 95:6) Imagine this expression of praise at the sight of the Maestro.

Let us stand in silent wonder or in boisterous celebration! Either way is fine as long as we’re acknowledging that He is worthy.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *