Groovin’ With God

Jazz-Players-Mural-Groovin-in-the-Grove
Our Creator God does indeed create. Mercy and how!
But She is not the only one who makes 
the decisions about 
what will be created.
If that were the case, blind obedience...
would be our only mission
we would merely be puppets who could only 
do things when God 
pulls our strings.
Dig this.  
As children of God who've been 
called to groove,
let's groove on the metaphor 
of "Jazz Music."  
In jazz there is an imperative 
for listening to, 
and respecting the composer and director.
 However, for truly beautiful and 
creative music to flow,
there must be room for the musicians 
to play  off the score.
We need,        to improvise.
Now God is the composer and lead 
musician of all creation.
He sets the beat and the main melody lines, 
and we humans,
well we're asked to apply our gifts 
and graces and to 
playfully experiment
and create variations on the themes.
Check it out!  When we open-up and listen...
we can hear some cool and kickin' riff 
floating in from above...
"Dom diba dooba, dom diba dooba.."
We can groove on that wave for a while....
 Dom diba dooba, dom diba dooba!
- then, one of us gets an idea of her own,
doobie doobie dooba, doobie doobie dooba... 
she tries it out & adds a little bit of this... 
zoobie dee dom, zoobie dee dom,
... and brings in some of that.. 
...zip zip zoi, zip zip zoi...
and before too long, 
something new has been created
something that can only come from 
the dynamic synergy
of God
and God's People,
jamming       together!
However, we need to carefully listen to, 
and work with, God and each other 
otherwise....   all we have...  is noise.
The fool notion that "there are no wrong notes in jazz" 
is musically - false.
We can monopolize the act and not allow God or the others 
their turns to play..
..we can play out of tune or in the wrong chords....
we might play too weakly  when it's our turn to solo..
or try to "hide-out" by meekly playing behind the others...
or we might play in an inappropriate style, straight 
- when it should be swung,
Dixie, when its supposed to be Cool...  Be-bop, 
when it oughta be Smooth,..
and so on, and so on, etcetera, etcetera...    Man!

 

None-the-less, God desires this creativity on our parts 
- you dig?
And She risks the sour notes. 
She always attempts to make beautiful whatever we come up with.
Humph... Sometimes, well, 
sometimes He has to work harder than others! 
But no matter what, God is inviting us 
to make beautiful music together.
It's up to us.
Are we willing to open up our ears?,
to release the energies of our minds?,
to let loose the passion in our
hearts, souls and bodies?!
Now, Listen Up you Cats!
Let's let God know that we've
tuned our horns,  freed our souls,
and that we're ready
to groove with the Lord!     Amen!?


A “beatnik sermon” that I wrote back in 1994 during my years in seminary. I delivered it as part of a chapel worship service at the Iliff School of Theology. You might want to snap your fingers and make soft, high-hat cymbal sounds as you read this: “t-ttsss tt, t-ttsss tt, t-ttsss tt, t-ttsss tt, t-ttsss tt …”

xx – Roger

Rev. Roger Wolsey is an ordained United Methodist pastor who directs the Wesley Foundation at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity

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About Roger Wolsey

Rev. Roger Wolsey is an ordained United Methodist pastor who serves as the director of the Wesley Foundation at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He's the author of "Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don't like christianity."


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