Dead Men Dancing

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:13-16 (NKJV)

My daughter is attending a regional college dance conference. Last evening was the opening concert, with dance selections performed by various colleges. As I understand it, during this conference, each college takes a turn performing that piece of choreography they brought for adjudication. Their days are filled with master classes on various dance styles and dance performance related subjects. Each evening there is a concert to showcase various pieces.

My daughter called me last night after the opening performance to talk about what she had seen.  Her overwhelming observation was that while many of the pieces performed were interesting and technically skilled, they were “dead.”  She was struck with the fact that there was no “life” in these dancers or their choreography.

Towards the end of our conversation, she said to me, “Mom, this is my generation.”  She was troubled that these young men and women had no seeming purpose to what they were doing. The dances they performed were only so much music and movement with no obvious meaning. The contrast between these other groups and her own was profound and a revelation to her.

Her heart was moved with compassion for those of her generation who had no relationship with Jesus Christ. I don’t know who started the conversation which led to their ultimate decision, but these girls decided that during the next several days, they were going to pray together as a group for the classes they would attend and the other participants in this conference. They determined they were going to live their lives and dance in a way that caused the others to ask: “What makes you so different?”

I remembered that song I used to sing as a child called “This Little Light Of Mine“:

This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Won’t let Satan blow it out,
I’m gonna let it shine.
Won’t let Satan blow it out,
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Let it shine til Jesus comes,
I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine til Jesus comes.
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel – NO!
I’m gonna let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel – NO!
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Let it shine over the whole wide world,
I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine over the whole wide world,
I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

This is, of course, what we should all be doing. We need to live our lives in a way that it is obvious to others there is something radically different about us.

It seems these days much of the American church is about being “culturally relevant.”  We structure our church services to be more “seeker sensitive” until we water down the power of the Gospel. We are afraid to offend others with the Truth. The Truth of the Gospel is offensive. It should force us to make a choice.

To say that I am pleased with the maturity of my daughter and her friends would be an understatement. They have determined to live out their faith in a way that makes a difference. They aren’t worried about being culturally relevant at a conference where it is all about cultural relevance. Dance, like the other creative arts, mirrors what is in our cultural soul, and our souls are dead.

If we are actively walking in the power and authority of the risen Christ, we won’t have to worry about cultural relevance. People will be drawn to us for the Life and Love that is emanating from us, just as they were drawn to Jesus Christ during the days He walked on this earth. They will want what we have. They will be forced to ask: “What makes you so different?”

We don’t have to apologize for the Gospel. We don’t have to try to make it more palatable.

It is Life to a dying world.

Copyright © 2011 by Susan E. Johnson
All rights reserved