‘Joyful Noise’

Terry Walton


I was Thinking…

“Can’t carry a tune in a bucket!”  “Monotone!”  “Flatter than a flitter!”  “Tone deaf”.  All are descriptions of a person who doesn’t have the gift of singing.

For Sharon’s birthday I gave her tickets to the recent ‘Billy Joel’ concert at our new SunTrust Park.  It was a wonderful evening with friends.  I was amazed at the crowd and their ability to know the songs of Billy Joel.  For example, in the seat just behind us was a lady who seemed to know every word of every song that Billy Joel sang.  However…she ‘couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket’.  She was ‘monotone’!  She was almost unbearably ‘flatter than a flitter’.  She was ‘tone deaf’It was painful.

As the night moved on toward midnight and the conclusion of the concert and after almost three hours of listening to Billy AND to the lady behind me I began to remember Psalm 100 “Make a joyful noise…”  While I can’t say that this lady was singing “unto the Lord” she definitely was making a joyful ‘noise’ (emphasis on ‘noise’).  She was having what appeared to be the ‘time of her life’ singing along with Billy Joel for three ‘non-stop’ (emphasis on ‘non-stop’) hours.

As I pondered ever so briefly on Psalm 100 it dawned on me that this was what the Psalmist had in mind.  The intent of the Psalm was not perfection in tone but in heart.  It is a Psalm that erases the excuse of those who don’t sing at all saying “I can’t sing!”  Whether we can sing or not is not the issue.  At issue is do we have something for which to sing?  And if we do have something for which to sing then “Make a joyful noise…”

There is something to be discovered in the fact that we can sing at all.  God has given us the beautiful gift of musical expression.  Whether it is on note or not is incidental.  The expression of the heart is found in our “Making a joyful noise unto the Lord”.  I’m so glad the Psalmist didn’t say “Make a perfect noise” or “Make a noise in tune with the music”.  The Psalmist simply says “Make the noise joyfully”.

So go ahead a sing young lady seated in row 13 seat 4.  Sing to your heart’s content.  I could hear your joy in every song…even if you haven’t been given the gift of singing.

God is Love!  He lives!  We serve a risen Savior!  Death has been conquered!  We have so much for which to sing.  So let’s sing.  Let’s make a joyful noise unto the Lord.

Always Thinking…


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