Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Engaging the "Other"

In last week's sermon, we looked at Luke 18:9-14 and the prevalence of the word "others" or "the other" or in this parable of Jesus. How does Jesus hope we will relate to "the other"? Not as the Pharisee did, distancing ourselves and thanking God that we are not like "those people," but recognizing the ways we ARE like "others"--and, when we're different, the ways we can still learn from and connect with them.

Ever since I showed this video in our Dinner and Democracy group last week, I've been captivated by it. In this modernized treatment of “The Swan,” a cello standard composed by Camille Saint-SaĆ«ns, Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Los Angeles dancer Charles “Lil’ Buck” Riley accompany one another to create a hybrid of classical music and street dancing. The video, captured in an impromptu shoot by director Spike Jonze, shows the very different performers carefully watching each other’s timing, and embracing one another at the end. What does this remarkable piece of art teach us about relating to one we might consider "the other"?