You Move Me
Posted on January 11, 2008
by John Paul Jackson
This reminder may be slightly premature, but Valentine’s Day is next month. I would like you to consider that as you read the following — an article about worship. Several years ago, I was a very faithful, very devout church choir member. I made absolute certain that I never did anything wrong because I wanted to be spiritual. It was my goal in life not to mess up, not to do anything that would obscure my spiritual appearance. But then, one Sunday, I found myself tapping my toe inside my shoe. Egad! In that moment, I was so thankful it was in my shoe and no one could see it. I just knew that if I had dared tap my foot, my fingers or anything else, every other choir member would have looked at me, sniffed and barred me from singing with them. Some churches have choirs with great movement, but I never saw one of those until I was 30 years old — we were frozen worshippers!
THE IMPORTANCE OF MOVEMENT IN WORSHIP
You see, worship encompasses all styles of communication: vocal expressions, physical expressions, bodily expressions. It is the movement of everything within us. It is our personal expression to God, because each of us has a different button that drives us. This motion has been in us since we were in our mother’s womb. She knew when we were in distress because of our movement. She knew when we were stretching. She knew when we were excited. She could tell when we were happy; she could tell when we were not. She knew when there was trouble. She knew when there was health. Our movements told her. So saying, from the very beginning, before we could even talk, this desire was put within us: “I will move to communicate.” We learned to communicate through movement first; even as adults, we communicate through movement. We raise our eyebrows when we are surprised. Our jaw protrudes just a little when we are upset. Our arms cross when we are closed to another person or opinion, and we lean forward when we are interested in what we are hearing. FREEDOM IN MOVEMENT Freedom is found in movement. Movement connects us to our bodies and our emotions, and so, when we worship, our bodies begin to resonate with God’s purpose within us. The outgrowth of that resonation, inspired by movement, is that we are able to connect with Christ at levels that nothing — nothing — else can fulfill. And so, this month, as we slowly move out of winter and into spring, may the same happen to our hearts. May we be moved out of winter and into spring! And may we find ourselves moving and having our being in the only One worthy of our souls. Be free, at last.
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