From the desk of… Let’s Dance

by Terry Griffin, Lt. Colonel – 

My wife and I were in attendance at the Western Music Institute Solo Concert Night this summer. During that wonderful evening we heard our fine young people share their talents with us. One of the soloists, Joy Lee from San Diego Citadel, sang beautifully, “Dancing In Your Heart.” After she sang, I began to contemplate the idea of dancing in your heart and realized that is what I do best. When it comes to “real” dancing, I am a stick (easily confirmed by my family and friends) and, in addition, I am not an extrovert. This combination keeps me from being Mr. Excitement. However, just beneath my surface is a lean mean dancing machine wanna-be!

I suspect this “wanna-be” attitude is in all of us. We are dancing in our hearts, yet feel unable to get it out for all to see and enjoy. For whatever reason we are too shy, too reserved, too embarrassed, too (you fill in the blank), to just let it out no matter what people may think or say.

One of the hallmarks of being a Christian and a Salvationist is joy. We sing (or used to anyway) “Joy, joy, joy, there is joy in The Salvation Army.” This spirit of the dancing heart is an integral aspect of who we are and whose we are. Jesus is the Lord of the dance, and we are his dance company. At least this is the way he intended it to be.

How then do we Salvationists dance when “dancing” isn’t part of our everyday vocabulary?

While visiting the Western Music Institute and Western Youth Institute this summer, I witnessed Salvationist young people dancing enthusiastically before the Lord. They danced with their witness, with their singing and their instruments, with their prayer and interaction with each other, and with their study of the Word of God. They danced with their willingness to serve God and others. They desire to be “doers of the Word” and not just bystanders (“hearers” only). This group wants to dance, not only in their hearts, but in their living.

Young people from all over this great territory were actively involved in ministry this summer. They were serving on mission teams, involved in camp ministries, assisting with vacation Bible schools, and leading people into a relationship with Jesus Christ. People were dancing all over this territory, in fact all over the world—dancing to the “beat of his love.”

Scripture invites us to dance—to be active, joyful and involved in serving Christ and loving people into his Kingdom. Psalm 149:3-4 challenges us to dance:

Let them praise his name with dancing; Let them sing praises to him with timbrel and lyre. For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.

My prayer for each of us is that we will learn to dance; to dance in our hearts and in our living; to dance in our service and our worship. I believe that if we do, the Lord of the dance will be gleaming with joy as he dances with us, for he is the Lord of the Dance.

Come join me now, “You put your right foot in…”

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