An Advent Journey, 2013: Looking for the Light – Day Nine

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      One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure life.

Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.

      Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.

      Don’t run roughshod over the concerns of your brothers and sisters. Their concerns are God’s concerns, and he will take care of them. We’ve warned you about this before. God hasn’t invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful—as beautiful on the inside as the outside.

      If you disregard this advice, you’re not offending your neighbors; you’re rejecting God, who is making you a gift of his Holy Spirit.

      Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. You’re God-taught in these matters. Just love one another! You’re already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it.

      Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.

I Thessalonians 4:1-12  -The Message

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The psychological term is mirroring, learning from another by copying them, or saying back to them what you’ve heard, to be sure you’ve heard it right. 

I think that’s what Paul is talking to the Thessalonians about in this note. “Be sure you’re mirroring God in all your actions – how you treat yourself and how you treat others. Reflect back to God what you experience, what you’re seeing, what you’re hearing.”

There is a reason that ballet studios have mirrors on all sides. When  you’re learning a new dance, you need to see if you’re following the teacher, if you’re getting the steps right — yes, of course. But also, you need to know if you’re capturing the spirit of the piece, the joy of it.

Imagine that you’re dancing before the mirror, following after the Savior. Leaning over to help another stand tall, speaking softly to your neighbor, smiling kindly at yourself, when you catch a glimpse of your own face and form every now and again. The Christian journey is a dance, Paul says. Don’t let it solidify into something cold and lifeless, regimented and disciplined to death. 

Simply DANCE!

Lord of the Dance, help us to keep our eyes on  you, to do what you do, to say what you say. In our own unique way, of course, because that’s the truth of this life, isn’t it? When we look harder at you, we discover more about ourselves. Help us to dance well with you.

* As an added Advent bonus, I heartily recommend you click on this link and meander over to SheLoves fine post on Random Acts of Advent Kindness. I’m going to try and do this as often as possible and I encourage you all to check it out for yourselves.

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Comments

  1. Excellent photo for this topic! It’ll stick in my mind and remind me, what does my reflection reveal about how well I’m following? Thanks for this, Diana.

  2. What a great analogy! I love to dance and it is made easy when you follow the leader ! Thank you Diana

    • Thanks, Gwen. I wish I could dance – I love to watch it and I’ll tap my feet with the best of ’em, but my husband doesn’t dance, so I haven’t done any dancing since I met him. (Unless you count Sweatin’ to the Oldies with Richard What’s-his-name, the little gnome like exercise guru who always wears shorts and a tank top!)

  3. I’ve always admired the grace and strength of ballerinas. Alas, my skill-set does not include dance-moves! But I can dance in my spirit and with my attitudes! I can “dance” with joy through life. Thank you for the inspiring thought, Diana, of dancing with Jesus!

    • Oh, me, too, Nancy! Love to watch great dancers of all kinds (that’s why SYTYCD is on my Tivo list!) But I can’t follow even the simplest choreography instructions. But attitude is all (at least, that’s what I tell myself!)

  4. We will all dance with Jesus and I don’t think we will need lessons first!

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