A Joyful Noise
A Reading from the Book of Isaiah 42:10 (ESV)
Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants.
The Word of the Lord.
Let us say our appointed Psalm today responsively:
Psalm 100 (ESV)
His Steadfast Love Endures Forever
A Psalm for giving thanks.
 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
 Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
 Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
 For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
A Reading from the Book of Acts 16:25–34
The Philippian Jailer Converted
 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,  and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.  When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.  But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.”  And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas.  Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”  And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.  And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.  Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel of Luke 17:11–18 (ESV)
Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers
 On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee.  And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance  and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”  When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed.  Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice;  and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.  Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”
The Gospel of Our Lord!
My Brothers and Sisters,
We are commanded to Shout Joyfully or to Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord! In Psalm 91:1 (ESV) we see the Psalmist say: “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Likewise, in Colossians 3:16 (ESV) we see Paul writing: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. It is simple God loves to hear our praise, especially when it comes from our heart. Lift your voices brothers and sisters in songs of praise and worship.
Today we sing our Great Worship and Praise to the Father. Of course, I have a story to tell before we get down with lifting up our voices!
Driving God Crazy: Told in H Kushner, Who Needs God (Fireside, 1989)
A Hasidic story tells of a tailor who approaches his rabbi and says, “I have a problem with my prayers. I am a tailor, and from time to time people compliment me on my skills. It is very satisfying to hear their praise. One kind word can keep me going for a week. But if people came to me all day every day saying, “Mendel, you are a wonderful tailor”, “Mendel, you are a wonderful tailor”, “Mendel, you are a wonderful tailor” it would drive me crazy. It would get to the point I wouldn’t want to hear another compliment every again! I would tell everyone to go away and leave me to work in peace. And this is what bothers me about prayer. If just once a week we told God how wonderful he is, and just a couple of us did this each week, that is all God would need. Is God really so insecure that he needs us all to praise him morning, noon and night? Hundreds, thousands, millions of people praying, all praising him. Surely this would drive God crazy?!”
The rabbi smiled and said, “Mendel, you are absolutely right. You have no idea how difficult it is for God to listen to all our praises, day in, day out, 24 hours a day. But God knows how important it is for us to offer our praise, and so, because of God’s great love God tolerates all of our prayers”
Now Brothers and Sisters let us Sing Unto the Lord!
Let us Walk Unto the Lord an Offering and Sacrifice.