Chagall, Clapton, Winwood, Ukulele, Music, Worship

Praise the Lord.

Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens.
 Praise him for his acts of power;
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.
 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.

 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 150

Sometimes I think all you need to do to understand a church is to take a look at its Sunday bulletin cover.

Obviously this is tongue-in-cheek in terms of a general rule, but at our church – Hudson Memorial Presbyterian – there really is something to be said for the idea.

This week, for example, art by Chagall! Really? But I love the vivid color, the evocative images, the unrestrained emotion, the sense of transcendence from the merely human experience to the sublime.

“The sublime”, Kant tells us, is the phenomenon of our understanding – our brain, our cognition – encountering something which it cannot organize or contain.

For me this makes perfect sense in terms of a Sunday morning worship experience with a specific focus on music. It’s the transcendence, the impossible to contain, that works to help me in my need to worship God.

Sitting there in church, even though none of the music ventured anywhere near a guitar, I couldn’t help but think of the following amazing live video of the band “Blind Faith” from 1969. Steve Winwood is just twenty, Eric Clapton a couple of years older, and they are playing “The Color of the Lord.

I don’t know, maybe Chagall knew about the color of the Lord – and especially the color of music? I did a cover of this song at WFPC a few years back, but without the Clapton guitar solo!

“Blind Faith” – Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton – Ginger Baker, and Ric Grech

Rebekah on the uke!

– Rebekah taking ukulele lessons

Likewise this photo of Rebekah taking her online ukulele lesson Saturday afternoon.

Finding the deep harmonies in life, splashing the spectacular color, immersed in the imagination that says something of the intention of The Creator in how we express ourselves.

  • Rebekah: always learning, always making sure her spirit is stimulated and her creativity engaged.
  • Me: wanting my writing and my photography (and my living) to honor the rich color of God’s creative nature.
  • The Church: reflecting something of the nature of God even in bulletin cover art.

Happy Monday, friends, may yours be full with the color of music – DEREK

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