All That Jazz


Jazz. I don’t understand it. But I like it. There’s something about this enigmatic art form that speaks to my spirit in ways other kinds of music do not. So I decided to spend my week of study leave in May learning more about jazz. I took an online course, watched Ken Burns’ 10-part PBS documentary Jazz and listened to a lot of music.

After all of that, I know many more facts about jazz, its history, its musical roots and multiple derivations. I’m better able to recognize certain artists when I hear them. I’m even able to tell the difference between swing and bop (well, sometimes anyway). But the influence jazz has on my soul remains a mystery.

Members of a jazz band individually improvise and innovate, even as they work together intuitively, cooperatively and creatively. Each one is an important part of something bigger. That message carries a lot of appeal to me: working together with our Creator, hearing God’s call and then responding with echoes and variations of God’s theme.

This summer we’ll talk about being part of something bigger, of the mysteries of our faith, and the lessons that jazz can teach us about working in harmony with our Divine One. I hope you’ll join me.

Christ’s Peace and Love, Pastor Gage

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