Monday, February 23, 2009

Joyful Noise

One of our tasks in growing in Christ is to grow up in our worship. There are a number of facets to this, but a central aspect of worship is music. In a number of places in Scripture the Holy Spirit is associated with music. When David plays for Saul, the music subdues the evil spirits, when Paul says to be filled with the Spirit, he says to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to one another. We are called to worship in the beauty of holiness, and holiness is that which is supremely supplied by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is God’s glory cloud; it is the storm of his presence. And we are called into that presence week after week. We are called to join in with that cloud, that storm, and that thundering presence. And we do that in our song, in our music. But we have really only just begun. The Scriptures, and the Psalms in particular, instruct us in our worship. God calls upon us not only to sing but to make music on many instruments. In Psalm 150, the psalmist lists at least seven different instruments and some of them are just general categories. The Psalmist closes the psalm exhorting everything that has breath to praise the Lord. Given the thrust of the Psalm, the command is really something like: everyone needs to make noise in praise of God. If you have a drum strike it, if you have a trumpet blow it, if you have stringed instruments play them, if you have a voice sing out, if you have hands clap them. As we seek to grow up in worship, we want our worship to be ordered by the patterns of Scripture, but one of those patterns is that our worship ought to grow in volume. God likes noise. He loves a joyful noise. As we gather in the Spirit, our joyful praises are the glory of God; we are the glory cloud, the music of the Spirit, the beauty of holiness. So come with all that you have, come with singing, come with joy, and come expecting the Spirit of God to grow us more and more into that thundering presence. And then when you leave here this morning, take it with you.

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