Devotion - June 6

All this week our devotions are from members of the West Side family. Since we are separated during this time, and you are hearing a good deal from me as your pastor but less, perhaps, from one another, it's a gift to hear and join in how others in our fellowship are walking with Jesus during this time.

Today's devotion is from Anthony Spain. Anthony is our Music Director.

Last Sunday’s devotion focused on the analogy of how music revelation (and appreciation) is analogous to divine revelation and the work of the Spirit - music, like the Holy Spirit, can be dramatic, unpredictable/unsettling and also enter into numerous languages. As such, I mentioned last week that I have spread Pentecost over two Sundays. Today we go in a completely different direction regarding the language of music with Spirituals.

Spirituals are not only a very important part of American music history, they have in many ways shaped our culture over the last nearly 200 years. It is said that jazz is the only true American music, but where does jazz come from? Its’ roots are in spirituals, and like jazz, they include elements from many different cultures. Similar to the Holy Spirit breathing new life into us, spirituals breathed new life into both musical and spiritual expression- beginning in the 1800’s right up through today.

While it is said that you could almost reconstruct the Bible on different texts used in Spirituals, a central theme is hope, and often hope in the midst of the most difficult situations and circumstances. Spirituals can be transformative which makes for an appropriate music devotion with the transformative message of Pentecost- and with what we are experiencing today. The spiritual, “Ev’ry time I Feel the Spirit" (which WSPC choir sang last Pentecost), speaks to this transformative power and calls forth the Holy Spirit in our lives.
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