Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy! ~ Psalm 98:4 (NLT)
I love working with teenagers. They have wonderful energy, a fearless attitude, and some really funny quirks! One of my favorite quirks is sing-along-karaoke. Let me explain. Teens will be just sitting around in a group (or solo) just playing on their phones, reading a book, or generally just chillaxing. All of a sudden, a song begins to play from the radio or someone’s device. Suddenly several members of the group come alive! They realize that they are hearing one of their favorite songs and begin singing along. At first, the sing-along might be kind of tame. They’re singing, but not super into it. However, by the time the chorus of the song begins to play, they are singing, bobbing, weaving, even dancing, with everything they’ve got. Some of them have the talent to sing-along on key, and even throw in some impressive choreography. Others, not so much. Either way, I appreciate the joy of the moment. They don’t care what others think. They just want to sing because the music and lyrics resonate with them. I have to admit, it’s not just teens that do this. Us adults tend to do it, too. Just usually not when other people are around, or we’re in our car and can escape from the onlookers.
Of course, we all might not like the song or musical stylings that sometimes are the playlists of our friends and family. But, we should be able to appreciate the joy with which they approach the songs that get them pumped up.
It is the essence of this joy that the Psalmist is talking about in our verse today. “Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy!” Our praise, our songs of worship, our singing about our Savior, our God, our Friend, should be full of joy. Additionally, it should have volume to it. Now, I’m not advocating turning the sound system up until our ears bleed. But, I am advocating for an active praise that has more volume and joy than a typical funeral.
When we sing songs of praise, they should resonate with us as we ponder the music, and appreciate the musicality. When we sing lyrics of the majesty and power of God, the walls should echo back. When we sing of the grace and mercy of our Savior, may the volume of our voices reach Heaven’s gates. May our praise be full of joy, energy, and passion for the One who deserves it. Sing loud. Sing proud. Sing of His glory. Turn it up!