Sunday, February 3, 2013

Love and Improv
(learning to love what is)

In honor of Sunday's appointed epistle, that great chapter in 1 Corinthians, a three-fold ode to love:

The first is a post-script from yesterday's reflection on the wisdom of Wayne Shorter, from my brother Matthew, himself a musician of considerable wisdom and beauty. Here' what he writes, in response to yesterday's piece:

"That's really cool; there are a couple of books I have (written by jazz musicians) who talk much about that. About practicing 'presence' BY 'not practicing the future'. To me True Improvisation (not just in music) is such a lost art. To really improvise is to be fully present, aware, to see/hear things as they present themselves in the moment, to let all 'concepts' go. I think it is much like Love."

It's hard for me to read Matthew's words without thinking of Jesus' encouragement to be people of ears that hear and eyes that see.

And then there's this tremendous hymn (612 of the 1982 Hymnal) that marked the Gospel sequence in worship this morning that simply stopped me sort in its boldness - "give us love" - and simplicity:

Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost,
taught by thee we covet most,
of thy gifts at Pentecost,
holy heavenly, love.


Love is kind, and suffers long,
love is meek, and thinks no wrong,
love than death itself more strong;
therefore, give us love.


Prophecy will fade away,
melting in the light of day;
love will ever with us stay;
therefore, give us love.


Faith and hope and love we see,
joining hand in hand, agree,
but the greatest of the three,
and the best, is love.


And last, but not least, the Avett Brothers and their heartbreaking, beautiful song about the victory we did not think to expect from Love.

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