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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Festal Shout!

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations. I declare that your steadfast love is established forever; your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to my servant David: ‘I will establish your descendants forever and build your throne for all generations.’ ” Selah


Happy are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance; they exult in your name all day long and extol your righteousness. For you are the glory of their strength; by your favor our horn is exalted. For our shield belongs to the Lord, our king to the Holy One of Israel. ~ Psalm 89:1-4.15-18


Have you ever made a festal shout?


Other translations of this Psalm use words like "acclaim," "rejoice," "passwords of praise," and "joyful sound."


But none of those to me capture the strength and noise and joy of "festal shout."


When do we as God-lovers make that sound? No offense, but many Sunday mornings, the voices that I've heard singing hymns over the years have had a much quieter and sometimes tentative quality to them. Maybe we are worried about how we sound? Maybe we wonder if we can carry a tune?


And when we are sent out with "Go in peace, serve the Lord..." how confident are we when we say: "Thanks be to God!" Are we shouting it to the rooftops?


Our acclaim of God is meant to be as animated and active and joyous as the shouts of glee coming from the rollercoaster at the amusement park, or the chorus of voices singing along with their favorite artist at a concert. As a teen, I remember watching the Live Aid concert - with its festival like atmosphere and being blown away by the audiences participation as Freddie Mercury of the band Queen sang their song "Radio Gaga."


Some of the most passionate festal "singing" shouts I've heard in congregations in my life weren't from people necessarily with the best or most trained voices. They were simply from folks who were joyful to be able to sing God's praises.


What about God makes you want to shout with joy from the rooftops?



Help me to sing your song of praise as loud and Spirit filled as I possibly can! Amen


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