Den’s Pen – 21 May 2020

Greetings from the pen of Den.  I am hearing on the grapevine that there is a possibility churches may be allowed to gather with up to 100 people.  We are keeping our ears pinned.  Whatever happens the office will swing into gear and we will run the programs that we can within the restrictions, and let you know.  This Sunday, however, it will be Hope at Home.  As much as possible, as we progress down the codes, we will go live from the Hornby site.  If you can, meet together with Hope friends, in your growth groups, or even with people who don’t normally go to church.  Discuss the videos, turn up the volume in the worship so you don’t have to listen to yourself, and mull  over a cup of coffee.  We’ve tried to gear the content to make it more palatable for the unchurched.  Videoing the service is like removing the back wall from the auditorium.  Its a great opportunity for people from the outside to look in.  One other suggestion, for the sake of covid19 tracing, if you are hosting new people keep a list of contacts details of those whom you’re hosting.
This week Marty’s preaching in the 9am morning service.  West Melton starts at 10am, and Rolleston at 11am.  Don’t forget the night service at 6pm.  I’m interviewing Jos Russell on revival.
I was like any other typical year 9 (3rd form) boy, I didn’t mind school but when I heard of an opportunity to legitimately skip classes, I was all ears. It came as an opportunity to learn an instrument. I am not sure why I chose the trumpet. Maybe it was because there was no other choice. But once a week I’d spend a period with a tutor who checked to see that I was working through an instruction book. Like any boy my age, I struggled to find the motivation to practice. Somehow, I managed to keep my croaky voiced cigarette dependent tutor off my back. I changed schools and just kept on going with the trumpet lessons. The tuition was paid for by the school music department, and to get a return on their investment I was asked to join the school band as second trumpet. The music department head was considered cool, so saying, yes, was cool. I remember the first practice clearly. The musicians sat in a semi-circle with sheet music on the stands in front of them. Fortunately, I wasn’t the only trumpeter. There was also first trumpet. “Good I could hide behind him.” The sheet music across the top had the title, Song Sung Blue by Neil Diamond. That meant nothing to me. The trumpets tuned to A, the conductor tapped his baton, and we were ready to go. We began playing. In the middle of the piece is a section where the trumpets cut loose. I let blast behind the lead the trumpet, and I experienced an exhilaration I’d never experienced before; the trumpets harmonized. What I heard was the trumpets beating in resonance, it sounded beautiful and it sounded louder. For a few seconds, it felt like time stood still. And I knew why I had learned the trumpet. Wow! Now I was interested in the title and its composer. We hear talk of unity, but our minds think uniformity, followed a negative slump in our psyche associated with conformity. “No! I want to be myself. I want to be different,” our inner self yells. And you would be right. The idea of unity has passed its use by date. It was years later as a radio tech I worked out what had happened. Trumpets are handmade, which means no matter how similar manufacturers make them they are all going to differ a little in tuning as you move up and down the scale from A. That difference in tuning is a low frequency beat of a couple of hetz (hetrodyning) and that makes what makes the sound beautiful. As well as difference, where the notes played are identical in frequency, they add with one another to increase the volume. That difference and similarity is what makes handmade instruments sound better than electronic instruments when played together. The same is true for us as believers, we are all hand made. We are all different. But when we harmonize the sound is beautiful. Our differences as long as they are within tolerance of being in tune, are what makes the music we produce beautiful. Jesus says “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you (Mt 18:17)” The Greek root word sumphoneo is agree. Maybe that’s a picture of what we sound like to God when despite our differences we agree. It’s also interesting that the NLT uses harmony instead of unity in Ps 133 How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! … Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the LORD has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting. The big question is, can we harmonize? If you were God what would incline you to tune in, individual discordant instruments competing for space, or an incredible symphony?
Keep looking up

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