For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (ESV)
When called upon to minister through liturgical dance, we take that call seriously. I belong to an ensemble filled with praying women; we don’t rehearse, gather, or consider any invitations without much prayer and sober consideration. One of my favorite experiences was being invited to literally “take over worship” at a local church, dancing the Processional, the Hymn of Praise, and Recessional for a Christmas service. I so loved the full integration of dance into worship.
According to one article published on the web, “Behind the choreography is the belief that the dance must be a heartfelt expression of faith and prayer. It is a physical expression of worship. Young people especially need to see a connection between body, movement and spirit. The aim is not to dazzle audiences but to deepen their religious experience, to make dance a prayer.” When we minister through dance, our goal is to lead participants into deeper worship, inspiring them to experience something they might not have experienced purely as observers or passive congregants. We are worship leaders.
We occasionally go to war. I am anxiously anticipating warfare-it’s a good skill to acquire. I find that with liturgical dance, I minister as much for myself as I do for those in worship with me-and knowing how to fight (in the spirit) will expand my capacity as a liturgical dancer. This weekend I’ll attend yet another liturgical dance workshop facilitated by one of the most gifted dancers and worshippers I know, author and artist Susan Gaddy Pope. I’ve written about the experience of worshipping with, dancing with Susan here. This weekend, we will be praying, learning and dancing spiritual warfare. I am excited, knowing I will leave both empty and filled, as I was when I wrote this after dancing…
Life is scary. Pray, breathe, and dance anyway. Things will not always go the way you planned them. Pray, breathe, and dance anyway. Dreams that you know God planted within you can sometimes scare you with their scope, the work it will take to bring them to fruition, how far the outcomes seem from where you currently are. Do your part. Pray, breathe, and dance (dream) anyway. Dancing is my reminder that Emmanuel comes. Dancing is my reminder that we are never alone. You, Lord are in control, and I know how to do my part. Pray, breathe, and dance anyway.