On Thursday evenings throughout this country many of us have been joining together to ‘Clap for Carers’ during the crisis of Covid 19.
It struck me that it is interesting to think about clapping as an activity. Why do we do it? When? Who? How?
I am going to start with How!! By ‘putting our hands together’ we make a noise which we associate with happiness, praise, excitement, and joy. This ‘clapping’ is an expression of our feelings, usually for or because of someone or something else. Seldom do we clap for our self. We might clap because we have enjoyed a performance of a play, a brilliant speech or some live music. We clap when we appreciate what has been done for our benefit – this definitely applies when we are ‘clapping for carers’.
Psalm 47 says, ‘Clap your hands, all you peoples’. Why? In doing this we are thanking and praising the Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth. “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord”. In the Psalms we read that “the rivers will clap their hands” and in Isaiah, “the trees of the field shall clap their hands”. These are figurative acknowledgements of the coming kingdom of God when man’s influence upon the natural world will be diminished.
When Jesus entered into Jerusalem before his death and resurrection, he was greeted with bystanders who took branches of palm trees and cried ‘Hosanna’, saying thank you, as they recognised their saviour, by giving praise and expressing happiness.
Christians across the world in their hearts and minds today ‘clap their hands and shout unto God with the voice of triumph’. (Psalm 47 v1)