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How should we spend our final week of Lent and prepare for Palm/Passion Sunday? I propose that we get out of our comfort zone, and listen to something completely different. If we are going to be able to engage in the unexpected surprise of resurrection, then we need to practice looking for and listening to other expressions of newness.

The main music selection this week is a concert, from Davos Switzerland, featuring Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. Krista Tippett calls Yo Yo Ma a “citizen artist and a forensic musicologist” for his relentless pursuit of collaborative and innovative connections between music, musicians and audiences. “Representing a global array of cultures, Silkroad Ensemble musicians co-create art, performance and ideas. … The Silk Road Ensemble’s music is contemporary and ancient, familiar and foreign, traditional and innovative, drawing on traditions from around the world to create a new musical language that reflects our 21st-century global society.”

As we ponder the final week of our Lenten practice for this year, I want us to experience the collaborative excitement of that the Silk Road Ensemble presents. The intentional integration of new with old, while honoring the identity of each influence, is something that we need to continually learn, as communities of the 21st century.

The willingness to connect a wide variety of creative sources ensures that our engagement in the world is continually refreshed and renewed.

Music that is unfamiliar can also be unsettling, uncomfortable, and unpleasant. But all new experiences can include some of these feelings. Life is unsettling, uncomfortable, and often unfamiliar and unpleasant.

By opening our ears to new musical sounds and our hearts to the joy that these musicians express when they play together, we gain the courage to let ourselves be open to other experiences, and even other people who will enrich, enhance and expand our playful practice of creativity and innovation.


Davos 2016 Conference Concert

Ascending Bird

St. James Infirmary Blues, from the upcoming album “Sing Me Home”