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Lord, Prepare Us: Attend Upon the Ordinances of God

Each week Pastor Sarah blogs on the Scripture for Sunday's upcoming sermon. Use this entry as a way to prepare your heart and mind for worship. See you Sunday!

Sunday's Scripture ~ Luke 6:43-47.

My seminary education introduced me to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Surprisingly, I was not seated in a ‘theology and the arts’ seminar for this introduction. I was seated in my systematic theology seminar, a course focused on the foundations and rationales of Christian doctrines. I was awestruck.

I still am.

And I hope to see Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre live one day.

This is Ailey’s interpretation - really Ailey’s incarnation! - of the spiritual “Fix Me, Jesus.” There are two dancers on the stage. Their movement anchors to light emanating from center stage. I interpret her movement as the movements of humanity. I interpret his movement as the gentle presence of the Holy Spirit guiding humanity back to the light of Christ.

When she veers, he straightens. When she is low, he lifts. Sometimes they mirror one another. At other times their movement is independent, yet very much in sync.

Near the beginning of the dance the Spirit figure lowers his hand to hover over the human figure’s head and rapidly taps the air. I interpret the “tapping” as the Spirit enlivening and making the human figure aware of the Spirit’s very real presence. That is the moment our relationship with God begins.

As the dance continues the interaction and partnering between the figures increases. This is our growth in relationship with God, through high points and low points, which are all transformative points.

Near the end of the dance the human figure includes this tapping gesture in her movement. I believe her gesturing signifies that the one led by the Spirit is now stepping - dancing - into the role to lead others. The original partnership with the Spirit will not end. In fact, as the dance grows, so does the strength of the connection and the witness of the incarnation.

May this video be a wellspring of reflection for you - for us - this week. May the text of this spiritual be our prayer and our solemn desire.

Prayer: Fix me, Jesus. Fix me. Amen.

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