Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sermon Scraps--Emmaus and a Violin Virtuoso ignored

I'm not preaching on the Emmaus story from Luke this Sunday, but I read a story in the Week this past week that was from the Washington Post that reminded me of it. Take it and run with it.
Here's a good blog link that I found that details the story, including a youtube of the performance, and some reflections. Basically the gist is that a major violinist named Joshua Bell played his 3.5 million dollar Stradivarius at a subway stop in D.C. for close to an hour during rush hour and hardly anyone even stopped to listen. The Post asks, "Do you stop to listen? do you have time for beauty? Shouldn't you? The Washington Post arranged this experiment in context, perception, and priorities--as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?"

I thought the story made a good parallell to Luke's story about the 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus who encounter a stranger with whom they share conversation along the journey. When they reach their destination, they make an effort to convince the stranger to have dinner with them (Luke tells us the stranger makes like he is going to take leave of them once they reach their place), and when he obliges and then has dinner with them, they recognize that it is Jesus when he sits at the table and breaks bread with them. These disciples are good witnesses for us to stop and smell the roses, to encourage beauty and truth and love and depth to win out in our own lives.

Toward the end of the youtube video, (which is shot in time lapse to a soundtrack of one of his performances), you see several congregate at the end--one woman had seen him previously at the library of congress and recognized him as he played, several others looked as though they were perhaps just caught up in the moment--I'd like to count myself among those four or five, but in reality, how many masterpieces of God's have I simply passed with tunnel vision on "my priorities?"

1 comment:

  1. That's a provocative story that would work with the Acts lection for this Sunday....had Lydia not stopped to listen to Paul, her life would not have been transformed as it had...thanks!