Friday, March 8, 2013

Jazz Vespers

   It was fun participating in the Jazz Vespers worship service as the drummer.

   It was also nerve-wracking.

   Dusting off the drums after many years in storage and playing with professionals was a bit intimidating.

   But it was also exhilarating to play again in a medium in which improvisation, eye contact, musical cues, and experience are such a central part of this American art form.

   Jazz is interactive.  It requires the listener to listen, just as it requires the musicians to be mindful of what others are doing around them.  One must know the rules before they can know they are breaking them.  Improvisation is not freedom from musical conventions, but an awareness music as a sail not an anchor.

   I have felt a connection between jazz and faith from my earliest memory, I think, for these qualities.
   Christian faith is built on a relationship with God.  Our lives are lived in response to that faith.  "We love because he first loved us."   1 John 4:19

   God calls us into a relationship that is crucial to who we are.  We are responsible for our actions under the laws of God, which leads us to know that we need the Savior that we have in Jesus Christ.  We live then not by rules but by the improvisation of faith, powered by the breath of God.