Shout for God!

an all-ages 'call and response' song of praise

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Walter Farquharson
Tune Name: VINK

Lyrics as Poetry

Shout for God!
Make a happy sound!
Clap for God!
God is all around!Hush for God.
Let the quiet sing.
Wait for God.
Deepest feelings bring.Sing for God!
Sing a happy song.
Work for God.
Good replaces wrong.Praise our God!
Care for all God’s friends!
Love our God!
God’s love never ends!God’s love never ends!


Words by
Walter FarquharsonCopyright © 1984 by Walter Farquharson
Administered by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

A Reflection by
WALTER FARQUHARSON


“Shhh!”

That was quite often the “enter the church” words children heard when coming into a church with adults. Even when the words weren’t spoken “the look” conveyed the message.

So “Shhhhhhh–out!” seemed a good way to begin this song and many services of worship.

Of course this song was never intended as a song for use only within a church building. The whole earth is God’s temple. It is a Psalm that, like many of the Biblical Psalms, proclaims God’s glory and hears God’s glory proclaimed in the temple, in the congregation of God’s people, and in the heavens and throughout the whole earth. It is intimate and personal. It is universal and community-based.

Our Psalm-singing Presbyterian forebears (and others) often echoed line by line the words of the metrical psalms. This is an effective way to use this hymn in worship and to give full expression to the contrasts within the text.

Worshippers have been encouraged to join in creation’s praise, singing, shouting, dancing. In turn the worshipper calls out to creation to join the praise of the congregation, “Let the rivers clap their hands.” (Psalm 98:8). Isaiah describes the promised return of the people from exile in this way, “You shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song; and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

For the believer, care for creation, the honouring of creation, rises from our having joined creation in praising God and from our standing voiceless before the wonder of creation. Wonder, gratitude and praise call us to care for creation even before we calculate costs and argue about causes of climate change and its economic and social consequences.  

As we shout and clap our hands in worship and praise, so too we wait in silence for God. In our relationship with God, there is, as in all relationships, a time for speech and action and a time for silence. We “Hush” and we “Hush up!” and we wait upon God. After windstorm, earthquake, thunder and fire, the prophet Elijah experiences “the sound of sheer silence”. (NRSV First Kings 19:12).

The prophet Habakkuk warns of the judgment the nation will experience because the poor are oppressed and no-one questions the injustice they endure at the hands of the powerful who have created gods who overlook or excuse their lying and cheating. Change will not happen until there is recognition that “The Lord is in his holy temple, let all the earth keep silence before him. This emphasis connects with the call of Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-8) when Isaiah finds that he cannot escape God’s call. Again there is a message of judgment to speak, a call to accountability and to change that the nation and its rulers must hear.

It is fascinating that in the Revelation to John there is a critical moment in the heavenly drama when there is silence in heaven. The cosmic drama has been marked by loud noise and flashing light, by angelic displays, mass choirs and great parades and, finally, the opening of the seals unlocking the impending judgments of God. This spectacular drama is put on hold. “When the Lamb opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half and hour.”

There are times in our lives, times in the life of an organization, a society, even a nation when accepting being put on hold could allow for breakthrough or stop a deadly action from which there could be no turning back.  

Less dramatically there are times when silence is simply healing, restful, restoring, grace-filled.

We bring to God our deepest feelings. We bring our joy, our anger, our hopes and our fears. We bring these feelings unrehearsed, unedited, unrefined. We bring them for understanding, for healing, for forgiveness, for affirmation, for blessing. Out of this grows acceptance, discernment, and service.

We love our God and that is expressed in praise and prayer. To love God is also to love one another, to love God’s creation, to love as Jesus loved.


Audio Sample

SHOUT FOR GOD!
One Verse
played on piano by Ron Klusmeier

Scripture References

  • 1 Kings 19:1-13
  • Job 38
  • Job 39
  • Psalm 47:1
  • Psalm 98:8
  • Psalm 150
  • Ecclesiastes 3:4
  • Ecclesiastes 3:7
  • Isaiah 55:12
  • Habakkuk 2:20
  • John 13:1-13
  • John 13:31-35
  • Revelation 8:1

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Celebration
  • Children∶ music about
  • Children∶ music for
  • Commitment, Dedication
  • Ecumenical
  • God∶ love of
  • God∶ promise of
  • Intergenerational
  • Life∶ beauty of life
  • Life∶ living life
  • Love∶ God's
  • Praise
  • Service, Serving
  • Witness
  • Worship

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