The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

Find the Spiritual Analogy: The Second Line

Let’s play a game called:  Find the spiritual analogy (there are no right or wrong answers so don’t be afraid to take a risk)

A Jazz funeral is a public event.  Once a family has memorialized their loved one they then take to the streets.  Often times the casket placed in a carriage and family, friends and a brass band march alongside as they make their way to the cemetery.  At this point the band is playing somber versions of songs like, “Just a Closer Walk with thee.”

As the “Main Line” of family, friends and the band march home, the atmosphere and tempo changes drastically.  The band swings with songs like, “O When the Saints Go Marching In.” Handkerchiefs wave, colorful umbrellas twirl and people dance their way through the streets.
Music and the mood  are so infectious that a “Second Line” of people form and join in the festivities.  Folklorist, Nick Spitzer, calls the Second Line a “funeral without the body.”  
Join the Groove:  Get creative, can you turn this into a spiritual analogy for Holy Week specifically and/or the Christian life in general?

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posted April 1, 2010 at 7:42 pm

The Second Line reminds me a lot of what goes on in Esther 8:17. After the king’s degree came out, the Jews had “gladness, a feast, and a holiday”. Then many of the people of the land became Jews…
The Second line is the epidemic of what’s going on around to blend in, become a part of, and absorb the “light and gladness, joy and honor” (vs 15). The second line is what us Christians should be the causation of, for fear that otherwise you’d be outcast. Although the second line doesn’t always impart equality in the long run, the occasion for it should still form…

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Ben MacLeay

posted April 2, 2010 at 3:27 pm

What about the act of burying the flesh and being reborn in Christ? We have a somber funeral as we lead our flesh to the grave, many old pains are brought back up and we feel great weight and loss as the flesh is lowered into the grave. Then however, we emerge, new creatures ready to sing and dance. The shame of our current mindset is that we live lives of darkness refusing to include family and friends in the burial of the flesh, but oh if we could… what a party there would be! This is shown in the Bible when the prodigal son comes home, he has finally buried his flesh and returned to his father as the party of the year commences.

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