Fairhaven Shorts 5-5-2024

Fairhaven Shorts 5-5-2024

The Joyful Sound of Music in Worship

Have you ever noticed that when the Bible talks about joy, it almost always talks about music and singing? There is a joy that I think that can really only be expressed through music. And I take our pianist Beatrice as an example. First off, she's a joy to listen to, isn't she? And as a musician, although I can't play anywhere near as well as she plays, I know the joy that she feels when she plays. She takes joy in sharing the thoughts of the composer.

She takes joy in the instrument itself. She takes joy in the sheer beauty of music. And she takes joy in sharing it with all of us. And that joy is contagious.

Psalm 98 says, Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all the earth. And God created all of creation for joy. God created every living being for joy, both for God's joy in creating and for our joy in being created.

The Inclusion of Gentiles and the Holy Spirit

Now this passage, we're actually coming in the middle of the story, so I need to back up. The part that we read started out with the words while this was happening, so while what was happening, we need to go back and take a look at that. So very briefly, the backstory. The apostle Peter was visiting a friend named Simon in Joppa, and one afternoon Peter was praying on the roof of the house when he had a vision of a sheet being lowered from heaven with animals on it, some edible animals, and he heard a voice saying, Rise, Peter, kill, and eat.

But Peter looked at the animals, and he recognized them as animals that Jews are not allowed to eat. They were considered unclean. So Peter said, Lord, I have never eaten anything impure or unclean. And the Lord answered, Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.

Meanwhile, nearby in Caesarea, there was a man named Cornelius, a Roman centurion, and he was a sympathizer with the Jewish people. He gave generously to the local synagogue.