Later in the game another player was found kneeling in the end zone. This time it was Greg Jennings. Jennings knelt down and then also bowed his head. He did not get penalized. Apparently it is okay to pray after scoring a touchdown but it is not okay to praise - to express jubilant celebration.
I posted on Facebook Sunday night how I would love to be accused of excessive celebration. Seriously, I would love to be the kind of person who is judged not for being uptight or wound up but for being filled with joy - celebration - wonder - delight.
One of the best descriptions of the church is found in Acts 2. Here we are told of the disciples' actions and how these actions were filled with joy. "Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved" read verses 46 and 47. There is an abundance of praise, worship, gladness and generosity in this passage. The people are filled with joy over what God has done for them through Jesus' life, death and resurrection. They are bending their entire lives towards God, sharing everything they have. They are celebrating...excessively.
I yearn for a life like the early disciples. I yearn for a church like the one described in Acts 2 - not the kind of place we dread going but the kind of place where we cannot wait to gather on Sunday mornings. I yearn for a community that is filled with joy - one that understands the great things God has done for us, leaving us no choice but to celebrate. We have so much to celebrate. We have so many reasons to be thankful. God has done great things for us. God's grace is overflowing throughout our lives. God's love is immeasurable - there is nothing we can do to make God love us more and nothing we can to do make God love us less.
We have a reason to celebrate excessively - with absolutely no penalty.