Make a joyful noise unto the Lord ..., Psalm 98:4
My daughter heard the term "joyful noise" somewhere recently and it kind of stuck in her head. So over the past week or so it has become something of a catch phrase in her vernacular. For her, the expression was amusing because it seemed like an oxymoron (think military intelligence or giant shrimp). So she has used this term to describe a neighborhood dog that would not stop barking and a shrill car alarm that wailed on for several minutes. While I understand her point of view, for me the meaning of "joyful noise" has such an association with the Psalm above, that in my heart, it resonates with me very differently than it does for my daughter.
For me the notion of a joyful noise refers to an almost unconscious action whereby you let go of your recognition of the people around you and just sing out praise to God. It's not that you sing and don't care what the folks around you think or hear or even what you sound like, it's that you just let go and lose yourself in the moment. Though the room may be full, it is almost as if you are worshipping in an intimate one-on-one way. Worship in one of its most pure, powerful, and innocent forms.