The Cast of the Holy Dance:
Jesus ………………….. Lead Dancer/Star/King/Messiah/Son of David/Christ
Disciples …….…….…….. Learners/Instructors
Crowd ………………..…… Participants
Audience …………………. Spectators
Religious Authority…… Chief Priests/Teachers of the Law/Pharisees/Sadducees
You may think that I have posted this out of order by not beginning with the what Jesus is doing today. Hang with me, it is intentional.
I have to confess. I really wanted to share everything with that was being revealed to me yesterday during Act 3 when it was time to write the reflection section for the day. But God knew what He was doing. Each time I approached my computer in hopes of sharing, the words just wouldn’t flow in a way that I could put them on paper.
Today, it seems that this is the day to reflect on all that transpired yesterday and even before yesterday. The events of yesterday were just too much to take in at once. Yesterday we saw the dance. Today we “see” the dance.
So, here are what I consider a few holy nuggets that I received. Don’t worry, I won’t share something about each scene of the Act J. I pray you ‘hear’ what fits and discard the rest (no pun intended – you’ll get that a little later).
This morning, I awoke with the song, God So Loved by We the Kingdom, playing on repeat in my spirit. It begins at the well where Jesus reveals Himself as the Messiah and the One who gives living water. From there it moves to the Table. The Table that offers the Bread of Life, the Table that satisfies our hunger. And then, the climax (chorus) of the song, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son to save us, whoever believes in Him will live forever.”
Now, I don’t know about you but, WOW! I did not have that song in mind when I selected which parts of the day to expand on in yesterday’s devotional. God is speaking! He is speaking to you and to me … He is speaking to us! Are we listening? Oh, I am doing my best.
Continuing with the song, we are invited to bring all of our failures and addictions and lay them down at the foot of the cross. Yes! Yes! Yes! That is what He is so totally inviting us to do! (Oh, I can’t wait to see what we will experience on Friday. Yet, I better not get ahead of myself. These days leading up to Friday are oh, so rich!) Jesus is waiting with open arms! (I just can’t love this enough!)
The rest of the song may have to wait until later in the week but go ahead and listen to it as we Journey to Grace. God is AMAZING, as Lonnie would say, and the song will definitely get your spirit dancing.
A few other reflections:
Everyone, EVERYONE is welcome to dance!
I can hear Jesus saying, “Dance with Me and you will never thirst again. You will dance into wholeness. You will dance into completeness. You will dance into Glory!”
Samaritan Woman (again):
When the people saw her excitement, enthusiasm, joy, and freedom, they were really seeing the light of Christ. She had just Encountered Christ, in the flesh!
Shining light into dark places where discrimination and injustice, along with condemnation, bullying, and more have been so prevalent brings healing, forgiveness, freedom … BELIEF!
9 “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11 The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13 For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9-13).
God so Loved!
They seemed quite disinterested to me. It was like they thought they already knew everything they needed to know.
They seemed to be getting impatient with having to wait for Jesus to fully reveal Himself as the Son of God.
They seemed to be getting bored. They just wanted to stop and eat.
(Maybe all of this is projection on how I often operate?)
They wanted to fill their hunger, impatience, anxiety, and boredom with something (in this case food but it could be any number of things … think “bring your addictions” from the song) other than God. They’re hungry but they have no idea where the truly satisfying meal will come from. Thank You, Jesus!
Each time I follow the will of the Father, having listened to Jesus, and called on the power of the Holy Spirit, it is easy for me to say that the predominant feeling is “full”. Full of peace, full of joy, full of gratitude, full of … so many wonderful things! Yes, doing the will of the Father is food for the soul!
Last nugget and then we will get on to what Jesus is doing today … hang in there.
Who is the Messiah:
This is ultimately the question that Jesus asked the religious authorities right after they asked Him which commandment was the greatest. “Whose Son is the Messiah?” (Mt. 23:41-45)
I think Jesus has more couth than I do. I can imagine myself saying, “Come on guys, you are the ones who know the Scriptures. You are the ones who teach them to everyone else … to the crowd. Think! What does it say?
Creation – Exodus – Kingdom – Prophets
“They are all pointing to Me!”
Open your hearts. Let go of your ‘status’ and ‘authority’. Authority is Mine, given by the Father and empowered by the Spirit. Come on already!”
Pray for me please J. I may be getting as impatient as the disciples and running the risk of thinking that I get it already.Ok, I think we are ready for Holy Wednesday.
Intermission (Holy Wednesday)
Jesus, the disciples, the crowd, and the audience take a break.
Jesus and His disciples are resting. The crowd is nowhere to be found. The audience is getting popcorn and sodas while they visit with their friends and meet new people.
It has been a full few days and renewed energy will be needed to complete the dance.
Additional dances that have not previously been mentioned (because truly, there was so much happening and it is difficult to catch it all in writing) include A Warning Against Hypocrisy, Seven Woes on the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, The Destruction of the Temple and the Signs of End Times, The Day and Hour Unknown, The Parable of the Ten Virgins, The Parable of the Bag of Gold, and The Sheep and the Goats (Mt. 23-25). Details about these dances can be found in the Script of the Holy Dance, known as the Holy Book by clicking here.
During intermission, while Jesus and His disciples are resting, there were many things happening off stage. Some of the religious authority (chief priests and elders) plot to arrest Jesus. (see Matthew 26:1-5)
Jesus is anointed by a woman while reclining at a friend’s house.
Of course, the disciples did not approve of her actions because they saw what she was doing as a waste of precious perfume instead of the Holy Anointing that it was.
Jesus, ever so gently, returned their focus to Truth (even if it was perplexing) by stating, “Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (Mt. 26:13). I
t must be the case that she knew (in the deepest sense of knowing) something that the disciples had not yet picked up on. (see Matthew 26:6-13)
And last but not least, Judas Iscariot, one of the disciples, agrees to betray Jesus. (see Matthew 26:14-16)
He is the disciple who carried the money bag for all of them. Seems I recall from a rehearsal long ago, that one of the dance steps taught had to do with the love of money.
Maybe Judas’ constant contact with money, or his frequent concerns (common as they are for those who are responsible for the provisional support of others) about money skewed his thinking and made him value it more than was necessary.
Admittedly, I totally rested yesterday after having written all that is above (remember, I am a day ahead of you on this journey in order to have these to you in the morning. And, yet, I am totally dancing with each of you! If you bump into me on Thursday and I am crying or you bump into me on Saturday and I am dancing, please keep this in mind. Somehow, I got a sneak peek, early viewing of the dance).
When I realized it was time for intermission, I reclined back and rested, letting all that I had just written sink in a little deeper.
All in all, this may not appear to have been a very restful intermission. No doubt there were numerous conversations happening amongst various groups because of all of the surprises in the dance so far.
Likely, many wondered what surprises still remained, if any. And some, probably the disciples hoped that the rest of the dance would go on just as they expected it to go.
If you haven’t done so already, I suggest you go rest in whatever form that takes for you before you dive into Act 4. When the curtains open again, I expect that the pace is going to pick up!
Again, I am thinking I know what is coming. And, at this point, I think I won’t be over surprised. Ha! Jesus may be laughing and will likely prove me wrong (Am I like the disciples?).
Do you remember the pun from earlier? At this point, I would say, don’t discard the rest.
Holy Father, help us to see. Remove the blinders from our eyes. Help us to hear. Clear the blockage in our ears. Move us to compassion, faith, hope, and love. Transform our hearts. Thank You for the Sabbath. Thank You for this day of rest. Amen.
- The blinders I have noticed so far on this journey include …
- The way(s) I most fully experience rest include …
- The spirit has begun stirring … in my heart.
- Comments on these devotionals are open and I would love to interact with you if you have something you would like to share.