“The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace..”
This is a very familiar benediction, one that God Himself told Moses to use to bless Israel. I’d like to focus on one word: countenance.
What is a “countenance”? This is talking about someone’s facial expression. And if their countenance is “lifted up”, this means that the corners of their mouth are raised and their eyes are bright – in other words, they’re smiling.
When someone smiles at you, even if you’re having a bad day, you cannot help but give at least a small smile in return. And science has shown that even just using the muscles that are used for smiling can release hormones that can cheer you up.
This may sound crazy, or it may sound obvious, but here goes: It is so important to smile while you’re worshiping. Try saying the name “Jesus” without smiling. Go on; try it. Out loud. Did you do it? Now say the name “Jesus” with a smile on your face. Go ahead; you can do it, even if you don’t really feel like smiling at the moment. Did you notice a difference? Did it feel more uplifting?
Make a point this Sunday to smile as you’re worshiping. After all, God is smiling as He’s looking at you. Can we do anything less than smile back at Him?