Nobody told Marlene (not her real name) you’re not supposed to yell in church. Even if she had been told I’m not sure it would have made any difference. Right in the middle of a sermon, the pastor said something about how the Holy Spirit lives and grows in the souls of those who place their faith in Jesus. And she couldn’t sit still. Marlene jumped to her feet, with her arms waving wildly above her head, and yelled out, “Whoo Hoo!” Needless to say, the rest of the congregation was a bit startled. Some of them woke right up, blinking and bewildered. No doubt, others were thinking, “That’s not the way we do it here…”
But I think Jesus loved it! Whoo Hoo! He knew that woman had come to faith and been reborn a few days earlier, that she just couldn’t contain her joy. I’ll bet Jesus was wondering why nobody else was jumping and shouting.
A bunch of long-faced, crusty, religious types once asked Jesus why He and His disciples were not fasting, why they were not acting with appropriate religious sorrow.
Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:15-17)
New wine is alive. It’s growing and bubbling inside. So is new birth in the Spirit of God, when someone surrenders to Jesus. It bubbles with joy and new life. Paul called it “walking in the newness of life.” (Romans 6:4 NASB) Old, crusty rituals cannot contain new life. How can the guests fast while the “Bridegroom” is with them? Jesus told believers that He would never leave them (Matthew 28:20), that He would come and make His home with them (John 14:23). He said, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14;19). Whoo Hoo!
The chances are good that Marlene is more subdued in church these days. She probably got the memo. She’s more crusty. But don’t you fall prey to that! The wine is still new. The Spirit of God is still growing and bubbling inside. Let that joy loose! Whoo Hoo!