Jazz @ Emmanuel – I Am Because We Are

I Am Because We Are – Sunday, February 11

Ubuntu is a concept of community that is foreign to many in modern society. Phrases like “every man for himself,” if you want something dome right, do it yourself,” “pull yourself up by the bootstraps,” “God helps those who help themselves,” “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”

The days of a “barn raising” where a community comes together for each other to build efficiently what would otherwise take much longer and require more than many people are capable of doing alone, is essentially over. What we cannot do ourselves, we hire out, or do without.

But in communities in Southern Africa, people are more realistic and more open, dependent even, on working together, sharing, and holding each other up. This concept can be found in a number of countries and at least 14 African languages. “Ubuntu” is Zulu but other languages have a similar word that carries the same value system and practices that community is all of us.

Interdependence is valued above independence, collectivism over individualism, belonging over isolation. Community expectations include an attitude of responsibility and sharing toward others and respecting each others’ uniqueness, equality and common humanity at the same time. Each person is made complete because of the whole.

For Western countries, it sounds almost too good to be true. This attitude of choosing the common good, or the welfare of others over our own is a challenge to all but not unfamiliar to the serious Christian. Consider the Litany of Humility, attributed to Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val (1865-1930). Known for his life of piety, he was the Secretary of State to Pope Saint Pius X from 1903 to 1914. Consider using this as a prayer during Lent. Still, holding values and practicing them are sometimes worlds apart. Oh, how we can learn from these humble people.

It will be interesting to see what Jazz pieces our musicians will choose along this theme of Ubuntu, for this week’s Vespers. “I am because we are.” Join us! Ubuntu or ego? The choice is always ours.

And again, on March 10th – “From God to Me to You”

Jazz @ Emmanuel
as only Jazz at Emmanuel can.


The Second Sunday of the Month, September – May


March 10th – From God to Me to You
April 14th – Instruments of Peace
May 12th – Opening the Closed Door

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1 Corinthians 12:12-27 – One Body with Many Members

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[a] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be?20 As it is, there are many parts,[b] yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Join us for Jazz @ Emmanuel at 5:00 PM in the Sanctuary – a place of community and safety in the Love of God and others.