rhythm, rock and redemption
I’m on placement now ( of which more later) and Easter school seems a long time away, but some of the ideas, themes and experiences have been floating around in my reflective space, and as is usual I keep half formulating blog posts in my head, and that’s as far as they get. The one that has kept coming back to me though has been about the music we used in worship at Easter school and its effect ( on me at least, I can’t speak for others). Then today one of my college friends, Michael, blogged about the same subject, and commenting on his post made me realise I had to get my thoughts down too.
The main theme for the week was Being Human in Christ, we looked at a huge range of human experience and understanding from icon painting to sex, and from workplace dynamics to what forgiveness really means. It was in the worship though that I felt that all this pulled together, though it almost wasn’t until the last couple of days that it all crystalised. Because of our brief and the nature of the themes, the worship times were quite meditiative and reflective, there was little sung worship other than the refrain of an Orthodox Paschal Troparion which was used several times each day. Several groups, mine included, used secular music as part of the worship, as background to visuals or as opportunity for reflection. Music had been carefully chosen and it was after the Saturday worship where the group used The Killers track Human, and Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms, and then in the Sunday Eucharist which was beautifully held in the open air, and encapsulated all the profundity of the week, that I had a revelation about the whole theology of humanity redeemed. We are not taken out of our humanity in order to be redeemed, and to know, we are redeemed in and through our humanity, the humanity that Jesus did not bypass, but took on, and lived and died and rose within. Everything about our humanity is redeemable because Jesus lived it. Our emotions, our bodies, our talents and creativity our music , our senses. What is more this doesn’t mean retreating to a Christian ghetto but living out the redemtive humanity of Christ in the messy, glorious, broken but being redeemed world in which we exist.
I’ve used this picture because the story seems to me to articulate so much of this theme; the redemption of senses, of physicality, of emotional response, of simply being Human.