Jesus calls us in our sermon text to joy. The joy of the Lord is your strength. As we consider the duty of gladness in worship, we must prepare ourselves to reject the extremes that attend it. Godly maturity will reject giddiness and silliness before the Lord. Maturity also overcomes the dour expressions that assume that a long face is a sign of piety. A gloomy killjoy is no closer to the kingdom than the breathless emotion-seeker. Some signal their piety with laughter or tongues; others by removing their smiles when they come to worship. Many have been signaling so long they don’t realize they are more interested in what others think than in what God thinks. We all need to grow up into Christ. This reminds us of our need to confess our sins to God. 3/1/09.