Smile! Jesus Loves You!
Smile! Jesus Loves You!
Several years ago my wife and I visited a large, prominent church that is known throughout the country because of their excellence in preaching, and also for delivering great, accessible songs for the North American church. I was so excited to go!
What a let down.
That morning taught me something that I will never forget. It wasn’t a word that was spoken from the Pastor at the pulpit. It wasn’t anything that the Worship Leader said. In fact, it was actually something that they didn’t do. They didn’t smile.
To be clear, the music was excellent! The preaching was commendable! The facilities, volunteers, and programming were as professional as any that I have encountered before or since. But it all left me feeling a bit empty. They didn’t smile!
A glad heart makes a cheerful face… (Proverbs 15:13a, ESV)
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones. (Proverbs 15:30, ESV)
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12, ESV)
Smile! Jesus loves you!
Worship Leaders, it is weird to sing about the matchless love of Christ, the good news of the gospel, and the hope that we have in Jesus without being excited about what we are singing! If we are excited about what we are singing, then we really ought to let our face know about it! That is, after all, our primary way of letting others know that we are excited about it.
I am not interested in fake. No one wants to see fake smiles that communicate I-am-smiling-right-now-because-I-know-that-I-have-to… No. Please, just no. But if we can catch even a glimpse of the incredible truth that we get to lead people in singing about week after week, it really ought to gladden our heart and result in bearing a cheerful face!
This good news, when taken to heart, will light up our eyes and refresh our bones! We have so much hope to rejoice in!
No, I am not interested in fake. But to be honest, the message being communicated that morning came across as fake precisely because it wasn’t delivered with a smile. I was not convinced that they really believed what they were singing and speaking about.
I know that the tendency and the temptation is to be cool. Trust me, the Worship Leader and Pastor at this church were both really cool! They had perfect hair. They were perfectly (relevantly) dressed. They spoke clearly and precisely. The service was perfectly put together.
I was impressed! But I wasn’t impressed by God. I wasn’t impressed by the work that he had clearly done in the hearts of these leaders. I actually left that morning wondering if these leaders even knew the God that they sang and spoke so perfectly about. Did they know that He came to give us abundant life?! Did they know that he wants our joy to be full?! Did they know that He loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us!?!
Do you?! If you do, don’t forget to let your face know about it. Smile! Jesus loves you!
* For a printable version of this article, click here.
Artwork provided by my good friend, Brooke Gehman, an authentic and wonderful man of God, devoted follower of Christ, and an amazing husband and father. Brooke is a gifted Worship Leader, an incredible artist, and a Potter by trade (check out his website).