I was just thinking…about jazz. This week, I rediscovered an album that I absolutely love. In 1975, Pete Fountain and Al Hirt held a joint concert in New Orleans and recorded it as Super Jazz I. I don’t know if there was ever a Super Jazz II, as what was probably planned as a semi-educational, family-friendly concert turned into, well, what you’d expect from two famous jazz musicians drinking together and merging their bands. (Seriously, I have never heard a live concert bleeped so much between songs.) Talking points aside, what is astounding is to listen to these musicians mesh and play together like they’ve known each other all their lives and have done nothing but rehearse all day.
Pete and Al do know each other; easily, the musicians in the different bands could have gigged together up street and down alley. But the combination of that night, in that place, with those people, doing that set, was a one of a kind thing. And the manic dixieland style they play in–wow! Like any good improvisation, it takes an ability to listen intentionally, respond not react, and using your talents and strengths to make something better. Something incredible in the moment.
These rules of improvisation apply across the board–musically, theatrically, and faithfully. And just as we’re looking at the first four acts of the five act play of our faith in worship, I want every single person in this church to start thinking about a few things–how you listen (not just hear), how you respond (not just react), and what your talents and strengths are. Through the grace of God in Jesus Christ, and because of that swinging Holy Spirit, we are making something new, something in the moment, something incredible at Midway Hills. Let’s talk more about it on Sunday, and at Thursday meals.
P.S. Thanks to the folks who have signed up for Thursday meals and stories! The sign-up will be up the next few weeks, for those who haven’t yet. And I am flexible if Thursdays just don’t work–let’s make it work!