Different Religions – Physical Expressiveness
I came across this list of physical expressiveness for various Christian denominations. I suppose that its comical. As a Lutheran, especially a WELS Lutheran, I can vouch for the fact that we are very stoic and reserved in our worship expressiveness. But this past Sunday; something happened. See what happened during our worship after reading the following:
• If you’re Lutheran, you don’t show anything, but you move your toes in rhythm with the music lest anyone find out that you really do have a beat.
• If you’re Reformed Church in America or Christian Reformed Church, you can do anything you want to with your hands with one unbreakable rule: No hands above the waist.
• If you’re Roman Catholic, you make the sign of the cross.
• If you’re Episcopalian, you thrust your hands nervously in your pockets and dig, scratch, or scrape.
• If you’re nondenominational, you clap.
• If you’re Wesleyan or Evangelical Free, you cry.
• If you’re Nazarene, you laugh.
• If you’re Seventh-day Adventist, you sway slightly with eyes shut.
• If you’re United Methodist, you extend your hands, palms upward, but arms are never raised above the belly-button.
• If you’re United Church of Christ, you stand erect with arms crossed and face scowled.
• If you’re Presbyterian, you place one hand under the chin, a la Rodin’s The Thinker.
• If you’re Unitarian Universalist, you go on and pretend nothing has happened.
• If you’re Southern Baptist, you hold hands with people across the aisle.
• If you’re American Baptist, you tap your feet.
• If you’re United Church of Canada, you clasp your hands behind the back.
• If you’re Salvation Army, you lift your hearts to God and your hands to whoever’s around you.
• If you’re Quaker, you get real quiet.
• If you’re Church of God (Anderson, Indiana), you raise one hand to the heavens as if you’re hailing a bus or waving a hankie.
• If you’re Pentecostal, you lift both hands high above the head and make the wave. (By the way, do you know how they vote at Pentecostal conventions? They put their hands down.)
• If you’re postmodern, you’ve done all of the above at one time or another.
Well this past Sunday was a wrap –up worship service to conclude a week long Vacation Day Camp (VDC). To our utmost joy, a few visiting families with children, who attended our VDC, showed up at worship. During the week, these children learned several contemporary Christian songs and really got into it – hand motions, clapping, stomping, etc. During worship, our Pastor showed a clip of the children singing “Lord I Lift Your Name on High.” And us stoic, conservative, traditional, liturgical Lutherans watched as a young girl, perhaps 4 or 5 years old, in the front of the church, lifted her arms in praise as she was taught during VDC. And the funny thing was that the Mother (who was also a visitor) realized that this was a bit out of place for us; so she tried to stop the little girl – but the girl was persistent! Mom would put her hands down, and up they came again and again. Arms up in a WELS service; who would have guessed!
“Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.” Psalm 134:2
“From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” Ps. 8:2