The enthusiasm of a young baseball fan is a great model.
- Illustration: Mathewson grew up a diehard Cardinals fan, so enthusiastic he'd get in fights with Cubs fans. When his family drove 160 miles to a Cards game, he and his brothers were wildly enthusiastic, while the elegantly dressed folks in front of them stayed silent. Mathewson asks, "Which fans behaved properly?"
We gain insight into the answer from Psalm 100.
The psalm alternates between a call to praise and giving reasons for the praise.
The psalm shows us we ought to worship with enthusiasm and excitement.
Silence is sometimes appropriate in worship, on solemn or reflective occasions.
When told to "enter his gates with thanksgiving," that means public thanksgiving.
- Illustration: A woman at a church picnic has made an incredible peach pie. You could privately tell her how good it is, but the "thanksgiving" in this psalm would push you to tell everyone at the picnic about the great pie, to thank her publicly.
- Illustration: After dozens of resumes and hours of interviews, you finally land the perfect job. Yes, you thank God privately, but you also stand before God's people and say, "I want to tell you what God has done for me."
To "enter his courts with praise" means we excitedly boast about God.
"Know that the Lord is God": He made us, and we are his. That's a good reason.
"For the Lord is good": I can trust him. That's another good reason.
"His love endures forever": It's a covenant love. Still another good reason.
- Illustration: Ancient Israelites loved bird watching. They were disgusted by the ostrich, who ran away at any hint of danger. But they admired the stork, who stayed with its eggs no matter what, even if a predator came. The took the Hebrew word for "loyal love" — hesed — and changed a couple letters to name the stork hasidah, because they were enthralled by the stork's staying power.
"His faithfulness continues through all generations": Still another reason.
Even when we don't feel like worshiping, we can reflect on the character of God. That should make us enthusiastic.