Psalm 98:4 “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.”
Have you ever sat in church and listened to the soaring notes of the choir as they sing “How Great Thou Art?” What about a soloist’s rendition of “He’s Alive?” Chills race down your spine before you brush the tears from your face. The glory of the Lord shines in His house, right?
Then there’s the one standing in the pew behind you. You know the person I’m talking about. Off-key Bobbie Sue and her “angelic” daughter who belongs in children’s church. She always belts out the hymns and praise songs at the top of her lungs, with her daughter keeping time with a methodical kick to your back rest. At least you don’t have to worry about straying from the beat, huh?
Directly to your right, across the aisle, is the church mouse. The music starts and her head lands in the hymnal (or bulletin as the case may be). A whisper pours forth from the shy soul. But do you think the Lord hears her praise?
Outside, the wind is howling. The windows shudder and quake with its ferocity. The door even vibrates a tune of its own. The old church creaks and groans with the pressure of the storm. The building adds its own voice of praise to the Lord. Everything on earth give praise, right?
Then silence descends on the congregation for prayer. Suddenly, the song of a bird sounds through the sanctuary. It echoes off the stained glass and the pipes of the organ. Everyone looks around at each other, and then to the rafters.
High above, close to the ceiling, sits a mockingbird. Instead of rounding up his elders or deacons to shoo it out the door, the pastor gestures the people to have a seat. And for the rest of the hour, God’s expert imitator and performer lifted beautiful music to his creator. Quite becoming, don’t you think?
So what kind of noise do you make? Yes, I said make. Not watch. You see, sometimes I get so caught up with what others are doing. I get wrapped up in their lives that I forget about my own.
Instead of worrying about whether or not Bobbie Sue can carry a tune in a bucket, I should be praising the Lord with her. After all, I’m not an opera singer for goodness sake. No more complaining about her annoying daughter keeping time on my back and praise the Father that I don’t have to! If the mouse wants to whisper to the Lord, so be it. God hears all things. Even this old, creaky church. Praise God, we have a place to worship. So many don’t.
Now, I see an old church and listen to its various musical tones. I hear the sounds of the elements as a symphony lifting to the Father. And whenever I’m outside, I listen to the birds and thank the Lord for the music in the air. I even find myself whistling along. Oh, what a joyful noise.