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I dare you to dance and sing the faith!

October 24, 2015
I love music – All sorts of music. I listen to a wide mixture of different music from rock to folk, from baroque to Christian pop. When I was a teenager it was mostly heavy rock that moved me. I even modelled my identity on that music – I was quite an angry teenager. Later I was moved by the songs and hymns I learned as a Christian. I learned to appreciate some classical music, then folk through the discovery of Maddy Prior. In her teens my daughter got into some very extreme music. She left some out for me and to her shock I loved it. Any Christian who really wants to understand the pain of many young people really needs to listen to Maralyn Manson. He is shocking and disturbing but the pain and anger in those lyrics needs to be felt.
Music reaches places deep inside. Places that I for one often try forget about. It gets into and rattles the part of me that is very basic and raw; not ordered and civilised. I am attracted to music that stirs up the deep cauldron of emotions inside me so that powerful feelings bubble up to be expressed: This leads to dancing and singing, tears and laughter, it leads to an honesty that can be more than a little embarrassing. And do you know, I don’t care!
I see too many of my Christian brothers and sisters living lives that are far too safe. Even so much of Christian music encourages us to stay in the safe confines of the church fellowship. True, we need to spend time together being built up and strengthened in Christ but only so that we can go out as spiritual fighters for Christ. We have been too afraid of change, too afraid of life. We have retreated into our spiritual castle. Safe behind our church walls we feel secure and wonder why no one is hearing about Christ; why the rest of the world is forgetting about Christ.
We can even use the Bible as a barrier against the world. We can retreat into a world of Bible jargon, of ‘salvation’, ‘redemption’, ‘sin’, and ‘judgement’ – we are moved by these in-words and forget that there are whole generations who don’t even know who ‘Jesus’ is!
What an amazing insight from Paul, the Bible is ‘God-breathed’. In other words the Bible gets it’s authority not from human beings but from the Spirit. Old and New Testaments record God’s Spirit speaking to and through human beings and events. God’s Spirit continues to speak through those recorded words. BUT I have found that God only speaks through Scripture when I let the Spirit take those words off the page and bring them to life: The written Word only comes alive when the living Spirit reveals what they are saying to me here and now. This can be through an inspired speaker or alone in prayer, but either way it is the Spirit that brings the God’s Word to life.
When I listen to the Spirit speak through Scripture then the Bible comes to life. The Bible becomes a vibrant collection of powerful music that stirs my soul. The Bible becomes an Olympic torch leaping into flame as the Spirit ignites it. The Bible becomes a bright searchlight shining out as the electricity of the Spirit flows through it.
This Bible Sunday I pray that all Jesus’ people will let the Holy Spirit bring the Bible alive. I pray that the flame of God may shine out from the Bible and set the world alight. Equipped for every good work – Step out: Go on I dare you to dance and sing the faith!
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