Make Some Music In Your Life

Dear Parishioners,

Playing a brass instrument like the tuba or trombone or saxophone takes a lot of “breath power.” I was watching the five musicians in amazement last Sunday evening in the church as they went from Duke Ellington to George Gershwin to Fats Waller to Scott Joplin and made it seem effortless! I was even more impressed later when I learned what a long day it had been for some of these guys. One had played for the graduation at Trinity College in Hartford, then for the 5Oth anniversary of the cathedral (also in Hartford), and then wound his way to Fairfield. “I’ve been looking forward to this all day,” he said. “Playing with these guys is a lot of fun and it’s music that we all love to play.”

Their enjoyment of each other’s company was evident and made for some great music. It was also contagious as I noticed that those leaving the concert all had smiles on their faces as they walked to the reception. I remembered then that our tradition often describes the Holy Spirit as “breath” or “wind.” A wonderful image of that Spirit had just been placed before us. The breath of the musician
moves its way through the instrument, bringing together the human ingenuity of the design of the horn and human talent of the player, to produce a sound which combines and unites with other sounds, giving it the power to touch the heart and soul of the listener and cause a smile of delight or a blink of nostalgia. All of this done through music that is unexpected in a church setting, showing us once again that the Spirit seeks its own avenues to bless us and will not be confined by our definitions. Instead it encourages us to be open to new ways of thinking and new ways of seeing. It reminds us that as a church and as individuals, we are to follow where it leads, not the other way around.

So, yes, the Holy Spirit breathes new life into our community through the baptism of new members like Randy Lallkissoon at the Easter Vigil, and it also sparks new life and new purpose through the 12-step meetings that go on downstairs. It gives sound to our praise of God through a wide-open thundering pipe organ rendition of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” to a single oboe playing the Passion Chorale on Good Friday, to a brass quintet going to town on the “Tin Roof Blues.” It leads us through dialogue and discourse with extraordinary theologians and it leads us through twelve, wonderfully ordinary parishioners who were brave enough to put their names in a basket on Pentecost. The Spirit ignites hope anew, fans the flame of faith when it sputters, and underlines human love with endurance.

Let the energy of this Feast of Pentecost fill you. Take a deep breath of it and let God’s Spirit make some music in your life. Be warmed by its assurance that God is with us every step of the way. Let it breeze through your heart and refresh it. Then, together, we’ll discover what wonderful things God has in mind for us next; how we help shape a world into a Kingdom….

Father John

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