Worshipping with our feet


You ought to see deacon Jones
When he rattles the bones,
Old parson Brown dancin’ ‘roun like a clown,
Aunt Jemima who is past eighty three,
Shoutin’ “I’m full o’ pep!
Watch yo’ step!, watch yo’ step!
One legged Joe danced aroun’ on his toe,
Threw away his crutch and hollered, “hey let ‘er go!”
Oh, honey, hail! hail! the gang’s all here
For an Alabama jubilee

George Cobb:
Alabama Jubilee

Last Sunday evening we Presbyterians experienced an extraordinary time of worship. Having been prepped in the morning service, the people returned in the evening toting musical instruments and expecting “something a little different.”

For me it was a risk: setting up a worship experience where people would be absolutely free to follow their heart. We put a few Psalms on the screen, and read together passages about singing new songs, dancing, clapping and praising God with cymbals and harps. And somewhere along the line the great Maestro stepped into the our unfettered mess of musicality, tapped his baton, and conducted a delicious symphony of freedom like I’ve seldom seen: Young and old alike entered the steps and strains, accompanied by flutes and violins, djembes and shakers. It was a chorus of joy that couldn’t be explained apart from the living God.

I’m in awe that our God is a Trinity, a three-personed Godhead pulsing with relationship between Father, Son and Spirit. I love the rhythms of life that pour from His throne, the eternal inclusion, the harmony and agreement of being Three – and yet – One.

It all goes back to the Trinity, the fountainhead of harmony, the root of relationship, the cradle of creativity, and the origin of the dance. How lonely and flat the universe would be, how quiet the jubilee, were it any other way.

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