As I was waiting on the bus this week, loaded down with groceries, I randomly found myself humming a song I heard on the radio quite a while back. As so often happens, it was one I had heard before, actually a remake of an older song. I am sure we all remember Michael Jackson, but do you remember one of his earlier songs……”Man in the Mirror”? I am sure you do, if you were from my generation, or maybe you remember a bright, young talent….Keke Palmer? Ring a bell? Or Queen Latifah? But I know all of you who are around my age (50) have got to remember Dolly Parton.
If you haven’t guessed why I am bringing up these well known musical talents, then maybe Psalm 98 will enlighten you.
“ O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things. His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory. The LORD has made known his victory; he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. 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, the LORD. Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy at the presence of the LORD, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.”
If you have not watched the movie, “A Joyful Noise”, I suggest you do so. Not only because It showcases some new, remarkable talent, but it also has a message. Here is a short synopsis on the movie:
“The small town of Pacashau, Georgia, has fallen on hard times, but the people are counting on the Divinity Church Choir to lift their spirits by winning the National Joyful Noise Competition. The choir has always known how to sing in harmony, but the discord between its two leading ladies now threatens to tear them apart. Their newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah), stubbornly wants to stick with their tried-and-true traditional style, while the fiery G.G. Sparrow (Dolly Parton) thinks tried-and-true translates to tired-and-old.
Shaking things up even more is the arrival of G.G.’s rebellious grandson, Randy (Jeremy Jordan). Randy has an ear for music, but he also has an eye for Vi Rose’s beautiful and talented daughter, Olivia (Keke Palmer), and the sparks between the two teenagers are causing even more heat between G.G. and Vi Rose. If these two strong-willed women can overcome their differences and find a common voice, they–and their choir–may make the most joyful noise of all. “
Yes, I know it is filled with Hollywood hype, and stereotypes, but the underlying message, expertly told in song, is that who among us is willing to stand out, and stand up, for what we believe in? Can we work together, putting aside our differences, and come together for a greater harmony? As the movie so expertly points out, as seen in the current (Roman Catholic) Church situation, there is now an undercurrent of dissidence. Old, tried and true ways, are being challenged. As in so many Church issues, there is now a sense of discord, a fight over issues of “what has always been, or worked” and “new, but radical” ideas that are more valid in our world today.
Our challenge, as children of our blessed Father, is to how best meet this discord, this squabble over who is right or wrong. There are no easy answers, no clear cut path…….but what if He was leading your choir? And He really is……can you put aside your differences, give voice to your praise? Can you lift up your song in joyful noise? As the title to one of the songs in the movie proclaims,
“He is Everything!”
“We’re born, we live, we die and life goes on
We love, we laugh, we cry
And we’re a part of His creation
Every person, every nation
He’s in every situation
Let’s lift Him up
Through everything, He’s loving us
Is it asking all that much
That we should do the same
So let us sing and raise our voice
Let us make a joyful noise
Let us praise His holy name