by Kay Stoltz

Psalm 98:4-6 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises. Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, our Lord.

What do our services sound like? Do you hear a joyful noise? Are we celebrating the Good News? Good News! What does that mean? It means time for excitement, festivities, shout from the hills, doesn’t it? Isn’t that what we do with good news?

But we do not. Church is sober and serious, displays of joy are strongly discouraged. As a cradle Episcopalian, I love the pomp and ceremony. I recognize the solemnity. Meditation, reflection, penitence, and awe are essential to our worship service.

However, from Ecclesiastes 3:4 — (there is) a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.

I submit there is a time in our worship service to make a joyful noise, to laugh and dance, to proclaim the Good News with gusto. We were created to enjoy the earth and everything in it, including music. Doesn’t God want us to worship Him with our entire being?

Time to make a Joyful Noise!