There was a shout, and the walls of Jericho came down.
Shouting is usually a sign that other forms of communication have broken down, listening is not happening, and the frustration is expressed in raised voices, expressing clearly to everyone, except those to whom the voices belong, what is actually happening. It takes a while to come back down to a grounded perspective.
We respond to shouts as we do to violence and disturbance – mentally preparing ourselves for defence.
But some shouts are expressions of joy, expressions of relief, are celebrations that come from deep inside and cannot be contained politely.
When my son shouts ‘Get In’ when West Brom have scored, the whole house shakes. I’m not sure how much it is spontaneous, and how much is picked up from the terraces, and how much is surprise/relief, but it is a potent combination.
So, quite a few negatives, but also quite a few positives. It is part of the human vocabulary, and some things cannot be other than shouted out.
So why don’t we shout in church?