For the North End Community Ministry / food pantry visit or call (616) 454-1097.

We meet for worship at 214 Spencer Street NE. Directions.
Service begins Sundays at 10:00AM.

a joyful noise

There are few things more exhilarating than cheering with a massive crowd. Last Fall my son Trey took me to a University of Michigan football game—not just any game: Notre Dame. It was raining when we parked and stood in line for the bus to the stadium. It rained as we got off the bus and walked into the stadium. It rained during the entire pregame warmups. It rained nearly the entire time. Well, if I recall correctly, it stopped briefly during the third quarter and fourth quarters. The rain, however, could not stop the enthusiastic cheering. At the beginning of the game the numerous Notre Dame fans were loud and boisterous and if Notre Dame had a good play they made sure to let the Michigan fans know about it. By the end Michigan fans had 45 reasons to cheer while Notre Dame fans had only 14 reasons. While the ND fans had quieted down, the overall volume had not diminished. If anything, the Michigan fans cheering by the end of the game were louder than the Michigan and Notre Dame fans cheering together at the beginning of the game. The stadium was loud. We stood the entire time, and not because of the rain. We were caught up in the moment, in the enthusiasm of cheering for our beloved Maize & Blue.

Imagine the day when we are all gathered around the Lord in his stadium—the new earth. Imagine the day when all of his people from every tribe and language and people and nation from human history, and we’re all gathered around his throne cheering. That’s the image of Psalm 98:

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 dwell in it! Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 98:4–9 ESV

One day that noise will be the greatest noise ever heard. Loud instruments and loud voices. The psalmist calls creation itself to join in the singing. The sea, the rivers, the hills. The entire earth should join the people of God praising him. As John wrote in Revelation,

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

Revelation 7:9–12 ESV

What if our lives were filled with this sort of loud cheering now? What if we were known for our effusive praise of our great God and Savior? What if, instead of cheering for our football team or our political party or our favorite music band or our favorite television show, we were known for a joyful noise offered to our God? What’s stopping us? Let’s make a joyful noise to the Lord today. Let’s seek opportunities to tell others how great he is, for who he is and for what he has done.