Classic Jazz, Pinot Noir, and Law/Gospel Couplets

God is Working When I Am Not…Which is All of the Time

Jason Thompson / 11.19.19

He had ice water, I had the remnants of a large bottle of pinot noir. We clinked cup and bottle in a toast. He had been invited into the fellowship of the fellas — my exclusive man-cave or rather man-dungeon (I’m poor after all). It had been a long weekend filled with parental demands and exhaustion and fussing at kids for not taking more initiative in helping with housework, but I knew he needed reassurance that he’s still my best guy in the whole wide world.

We listened to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, and I made sure to emphasize it was recorded in a church 60 years ago. When the fourth track “All Blues” came on, I pointed out that it’s in 3/4 time, which is typically a waltz…yet the song is both jazz and blues.

We discussed Romans 5 and the implications of how the first Adam made us all sinners under condemnation, yet the Last Adam made us all righteous. I asked, “How do we know we’re sinners?” I held up the Clueless “loser” gesture which prompted him to say “The Law!” I affirmed him, “Good — now, how do we know we’re righteous in Christ?” to which he replied “The Gospel!” Then he said something that reminded me…“they’re listening even when you think they aren’t.” 

He said, “Dad, there’s something you used to say to us all the time.” I knew what it was, but I decided to humor him. “What is it, son?” 

“You used to say, the law makes us sad/the gospel makes us glad.” He continued, “That’s all I remember of everything you’ve said to us in the past. That’s the most important thing that I’ve kept in my brain.”

We high-fived as I charged him never to forget it. God is working when I’m not…which is all the time.