din and tonics

"Imagine the biblical writer sitting in the front row as you preach your sermon from their text. Which way is the head nodding? How would you describe the look on the face?"

This is such a useful approach to take in the training of preachers. It always has an impact.

A few years ago I illustrated this from a performance of Stairway to Heaven, with Led Zepellin in the audience. Watch their faces carefully, very carefully. That hint of a smile. That satisfied glance to one another. They are loving this new performance of their song. This is how I'd love Peter or Amos, Moses or Paul, to respond when they hear me preach from their books.

Well, this year brings another example - this time for those who may not be Led Zepellin fans. How about the composer, John Williams, and the way Harvard University's Din and Tonics acapella men's group perform his music at their graduation last month?! This time it is a bit different from the Led Zepellin example. Here the singers take so much more liberty with the original score. But still they are faithful to the original meaning. Listeners - and the composer, more importantly - recognise this and can hear this going on. And yet the contribution they make is that in their creative performance they render the orginal significant for a new setting.

Both the meaning of the original text and its application to a new audience are being addressed. And the original author, the composer, is just loving it. The performance is far from perfect musically and yet still it brings great pleasure.

What a way to preach. A far-from-perfect performance of the original score which expresses a faithfulness to the meaning, impacts a new audience - and brings immense joy to the author. 

nice chatting



Paul said…
I'd love someone to name all the pieces of music - because I can't pick them all!

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