In the book: Naked Spirituality by Brian McLaren in Chapter 8 on “O: Practicing Jubilation,” there is a section about brain activity, left brain (analytical), right brain (creative), reptilian brain (anger, fear) and how this plays into religious activity. When we unite left and right brain, through uniting brain and body, voice and movement, architecture and liturgy, word and music we draw near to God in joy.
“But the scandalous truth, known by mystics throughout history and affirmed in the pages of our sacred texts, is that when we connect with God, it is as if we are plugging our souls into a pure current of high-voltage joy.”
Psalm 16:11 “You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
I think of a wedding I went to last year in a primarily African American United Methodist Church in our urban part of Kansas City, MO. It was joyful (as wedding’s often are). It had such music as to rock the rafters, swaying of men and women, participation of the guests with shout outs of joy and celebration!
I felt the presence of God and God’s joy for us that day. O, Happy day, when Jesus walked, O, Happy Day. He took my fear away.
I say, “Beware of religions that focus on a wrathful God, filled with aggression and fear.”
“Too many fundamentalists focus on anger, hostility, intolerance, separatism, extreme idealism, and prejudicial fear—be it secular, religious, or political.” (Newberg–How God Changes Your Brain, 2010).
Now that’s something to ponder.
O, Happy day, O Happy day,
Smile wide, grin thick,
Sway to music,
Envision heavenly hosts of angels,
Jump up! Clap hands!
Another day has arrived.
The sun is out, birds chirping,
Wind is blowing, God is breathing,
O happy day!