Sunday, August 4, 2013

Honoring God's grace with many names...

This morning in worship we played:

+ A jazz waltz (piano and upright bass) Kyrie from Ghana
+ A traditional Reformation hymn on pipe organ
+ A reprise of the Kyrie sung by the congregation
+ An "Amen" from South Africa
+ A chant from the 11th century - with blues electric guitar and recorder
+ A jazz-gospel reworking of Paul Simon's "Slip Slidin' Away"
+ A traditional Scottish Celtic hymn with new words from John Bell of Iona
+ A jazz setting for recorder and piano of the Taize chant:  "Ubi Caritas"
+ A 21st century Sanctus during communion
+ A praise "Jesus Lamb of God" during the prayers
+ A tune from the Jesus Movement of the 70s: Seek Ye First
+ And Dave Brubeck's "Travellin' Blues" (piano and bass)

We celebrated Eucharist as a community. We blessed and sent representatives out to the LGBTQ film showing. We talked about a "spirituality of jazz" - with an emphasis on how syncopation helps us get over ourselves and listen for the offbeats in scripture and our lives - and we laughed and wept in the presence of the Lord in community.  We were young and old and in-between, rich and poor, gay and straight, women and men, white and black and brown, Protestant and Catholic all hungry for a taste of God's grace.

Later in the day, a local reporter called me and we spoke for 45 minutes about  the importance of making our Open and Affirming commitment.  And while Di was at work, I had a chance to play with the puppy before taking a nap.  Let's just say that on so many levels, it was a blessed day - and I am grateful. It wasn't a perfect sermon - some got a lot and some didn't - and it wasn't a flawless liturgy - there were glitches in trying out a new form for Eucharist. But it was real and loving and filled with a commitment to claiming God's love in the midst of our humanity.

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