Friday, July 3, 2009

Unorthodox wisdom, Part 7 - Michael Jackson music in church

You may have heard of Trinity Wall Street primarily for its proximity to Ground Zero and the church's transformation into a place of respite and support in the days following the 9/11 attack. I visited again last December, and the place still contains powerful tributes to that time.

Today, however, I want to share a YouTube video of their organist playing a tribute to Michael Jackson as the postlude. The organist Robert Ridgell is incredibly talented, and I'm sure he made many people smile. Of course, if you read the comments you'll notice that he made many people frown as well. Anything out of the ordinary, and especially such a radical postlude, is sure to bring polarization and comments.

I'll admit to my ignorance of most of Michael Jackson's work. (I was only 4 years old when Thriller was released, and I spent most of my youth as a musical theatre and classical piano geek. For better or worse, rock and pop music barely registered on my radar.) The one song I've always known best is "Man in the Mirror" - one of the top downloads and best selling songs worldwide in the past week. It includes this Gandhi-esque lyric that I think most Christians would agree is a good philosophy of life:

If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change.

Incidentally, Trinity also has a great web site in general ( Their music pages include podcasts and information on services and concerts. They also have a number of blogs, written by both staff and members. I think it's inspiring to see such a traditional looking church be so enmeshed with modernity and technology and the world today.

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