A Dancing Church

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, land the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. -I Corinthians 1:18-25

 In 2002 a friend here at Covenant sent me a note of encouragement. It came in a plain brown card that featured a little golden man, face skyward, leaping across the cover. Below the golden man were these words:

Those who hear not the music think the dancers mad.

I love that phrase. It has pointed me again to the Good News of Jesus Christ and to think about it in a new way. It is music, deeply beautiful music, in the ears of mostly-deaf humanity waiting for the miracle of hearing. The music of truth, the melody of grace, the rhythm of righteousness, the the harmony of forgiveness, the sound of life….

And what do we expect people who don’t understand our faith to think when they see us :dancing to this music,” living our lives according to Jesus’ example, for God’s glory, and filled with the Holy Spirit’s love?

This the music that should do more than merely comfort like a lullaby in the nursery or inspire like a symphony in the concert hall. It should move us. It should turn us into dancers. Churches are to places of dancing, dancing to the music of the gospel. And if the world doesn’t get it when we kick up our heels praising our Creator, when we spin around in a new directions to know Him better by studying His Word, when we leap high serving others in love….so be it.

So what is the music of the Gospel doing for us? Is it helping us to sleep comfortable through life? Is it leading us to a deeper intellectual appreciation for truth and beauty and a stronger desire for healthy emotional stimulation? Or is it moving us to action?

It is a sad thing when people can’t hear the music. It is also sad when people can hear the music but won’t dance to it, maybe because they don’t want to appear mad in the midst of a culture deaf to the sound of salvation. Below the golden man on my brown care these words might have appeared:

Those who fear not the opinions of the deaf show them the music by their dancing.

A beautiful old English carol, one of my favorites, one I often quote at Christmas time, helps me to know my highest calling to be a “golden dancer,” face heavenward, leaping across the plain brown realities of life to the “music” of faith, hope and love in Jesus:

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day. I would my true love did so chance, To see the legend of my play, to call my true love to my dance, Sing O my love, O my Love, my love, my love. This have I done for my true love.

Pastor Jay