Many people try to make connections between Jesus and jazz. For example, Jay McDaniel writes that, “jazz is about about creating music that keeps listeners wondering what’s next, and finding a novel context within which to explore old truths…Relaxed yet alert, hospitable to strangers, delighted by surprise, honest about suffering, and yet trusting in fresh possibilities, jazz is a hopeful mind.”
That sounds a little like what Jesus taught right?
Or what about this quote from McDaniel?
The idea of jazz is like the idea of justice…It is the image of people coming together, listening to one another, respecting one another’s talents, and trying to create something beautiful together. They are free to express themselves as individuals, having been given the opportunity to develop their unique creative potentials. And yet they also have the humility to let others solo without having to be the center of attention. They are accountable for themselves and to one another, yet they are also forgiving, making the best of their own and other’s mistakes. As they play together they trust in the availability of fresh possibilities.
Fortunately for us (and Jesus), Dr. Eugene Lowry will be at Rainbow on September 13 offering a sermon/concert called “Dancing the edge of mystery: Exploring the evocative power of music in the presence of the ultimate mystery.” Dr. Lowry has served as Professor of Preaching for over 30 years at St. Paul School of Theology, and has traveled widely as a preacher, teacher, and pianist.
As preparation, I invite you to read a sermon by my good friend, pastor, and jazz connoisseur John Cheadle Rich. It’s called “Jesus Jazz.” Find your Bible, get your jazz recordings out, and enjoy the ride! Oh, and if you see Poor Billy sitting alone on a bench please assure him that the Son of God can probably listen to prayers and jazz at the same time.
Click here to read the sermon: Jesus Jazz