Ps 133; Phil 2:1-11
INTRO STORY: BIRLIN SPORRANS Part 1
The moment he heard the phone ring he knew that it was good news.
“Is that you Angus?” said the voice on the other end. “Look, someone’s just cancelled and we have a booking for the band tonight”.
“Oh great! I was wondering when we would get a chance to play for an audience again,” said Angus.
“It’s even better than an audience. This is for a Scottish Country Dance evening. This gig will be really good for us because people come to these dances from all over the place and the more folk that get to know about us the better”.
“Aye, you’re right, it’s great news. Pick me up at the usual time then, I’ll be waiting”.
Angus, Dave, Sheila and Max were known as “Birlin Sporrans”. Dave played lead accordion, Angus on second box, Sheila on fiddle and Max was on drums. They had played together since their schooldays and now, in their early twenties they were slowly making a name for themselves on the Scottish Dance circuit.
Dave was their unofficial leader and he insisted that they have at least one practise night a week and often more than that if something special was coming off.
They spent hours rehearsing, working out which tunes would fit the various dances and what order to play them in, trying out their own harmonies, getting the timing right.
Hours of repeating the same thing over and over until everyone was happy with the result. It was usually near midnight before they were satisfied and went home.
That evening was rainy and cold as Angus waited with his accordion in it’s case at the end of the street. Dave’s ancient Volvo estate appeared with the rest of the band. Angus squeezed in beside Max and off they went bound for another village hall.
It had been a busy day at work and Angus felt tired as he helped set up the stage before the start. However he knew he would soon begin to enjoy himself once the dance got going. There was a good crowd of dancers there despite the weather and they all seemed really keen to get going. Angus knew that they too had been practicing at their various dancing classes and learning the dances before they came tonight. They played through the first half of the programme and things were sounding nice and smooth. Dave was happy. Angus’s fingers were warming up. The dancers were relaxing and clearly appreciating the music.
During the interval they had tea, sandwiches and cakes. Some of the dancers spoke to them and told them how much they were enjoying the music. That gave Angus an energy boost. It was great to know that people were having a good time. All the hours of practice were worth it.
“How wonderful it is, how pleasant, for God’s people to live together in harmony!”
Family, work, community, church
Easy to say we get on with others when we don’t have contact with them
Difficult when we try to live together, work together, worship together
Good relationships important - receive God’s blessing - individuals & church
PRECIOUS OIL - used to anoint priests - symbol of Spirit
Unity like PRECIOUS oil - Costly (Compare John 12:1-8 - Mary anoints Jesus - the precious oil cost a year’s wages)
ILLN: TRAVELLING PEOPLE
Both sides will have to give. Some do not want to give anything - don’t want a site next to them. Both sides must want to find a solution & be willing to work to get it
WHAT DOES HARMONY COST US?
Phil 2:1-11 follow the example of Jesus
This will cost us our:
Selfishness - wanting our own way - look out for theinterests of others
Pride - thinking we are right & others wrong - be humble - I could be wrong
Self-righteousness - accept others way of doing things
LISTEN TO 2 MUSIC TRACKS - A MAN’S A MAN
Alasdair Fraser Vol 2, Track 20
James Coutts, On the Rocks ,Track 13
The same tune but very different ways of performing it
DEW OF HERMON
ILLN Autumn dew - fresh smell - brings out scent of grass
Dew symbol of Spirit - gives life
ILLN Olives grown in places where little rain if there is dew
Loose pile of rocks around base of tree - dew condenses & trickles into soil
Mt Hermon 2774m, 120mm dew - all year [Ben Nevis 1344 x2 = 2688]
Mt Zion “Dry Area” - Jerusalem 750m, 40mm dew - in winter only[The Buck 721m]
It would be a miracle if the dew of Hermon fell on Mt Zion all year
APPN Harmony does not come naturally
Source is God’s Spirit within his people
People from different backgrounds working in harmony
Exhibiting qualities like love, tenderness, compassion
Being one in spirit & purpose - to glorify Jesus & share his love with others
STORY: BIRLIN SPORRANS Part 2
The second half started with a really fast reel to get the dancers going again. A jig and then a Strathspey followed, giving everyone a chance to get their breath back, then another reel. Angus felt they were playing better than they’d ever done before. Was it his imagination? He glanced across at Dave and watched the fingers of his right hand racing up and down the keyboard while he jabbed furiously at the base buttons. Dave seemed to be almost in another world as he bobbed his whole body in time with the music.
Sheila also seemed to be unusually inspired doing lots of extra twiddly bits that he’d heard her practising often enough but she never sounded this good at a gig before.
Max, was really superb. As usual he kept them all in time, but tonight Max was no ordinary drummer. On practise nights he kept a fairly low profile but he had come alive in front of the audience. He used not only his drums, but any other object that he could hit with his sticks such as the edge of the symbol stand or the side of the speaker. He also juggled his sticks from time to time keeping the beat with the base drum and he had a big grin on his face.
It felt to Angus that they were all playing one big instrument with the dancers as extensions of the band. All part of the same body almost, just different limbs. It always amazed him when it felt like that, something special that he wished would go on forever and ever.
The last dance was well known, something to get all the tired dancers up on the floor. As Angus looked around everyone seemed to be smiling and laughing as they danced and then it was over with loud clapping and hooraying and calls for encore. Just another night, just another long drive home, but for a couple of hours there had been a magic in the air. Something to take away and savour, to inspire them to keep on practicing ready for the next gig.
The bible says, “Live in harmony with one another”, but that isn’t something that just happens. Just like a band has to practice in order to play in harmony, we have to put into practice the teaching of the bible in order to live in harmony.
When we practice together we will find that like the band and dancers we will be in harmony with those around us and we will enjoy life just as God intends us to.
The Lord will bestow on us his blessing - life with him for evermore