Singing with Joy

After a full day of visiting a variety of towns throughout Israel, we returned to the hotel. It was Friday evening, the beginning of Shabbat (Sabbath), and many tables had been rearranged to accommodate families celebrating together. At least three large families met together for the Shabbat meal. We were blessed as we ate among them. They prayed and recited liturgy. They enjoyed time together as families and friends. My favorite part of their gathering came at the end, when they enthusiastically sang together.

joyThe birkat ha-mazon (grace after meals) is recited every day, but on Shabbat, it is sung with special enthusiasm. Those celebrating the evening of Shabbat sing with joy. They sing unashamedly. They sit alongside others and praise together. Being surrounded by the energetic singing was a sweet blessing.

It was also convicting.

Do I sing with such joy, or even live with such joy, particularly when I’m in a public place?

Does the heart of my praise show on my face?

Do I express praise unashamedly?

Do I regularly involve others?

That evening, the Jewish families taught me something. I wondered what I, as a Christian, am teaching others.

I think I need to change some things. More accurately, I need to let God change me.

How about you?

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