Come Now is the Time to Worship
Worship and Worship Dancing
Before I begin this narration I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge a number of people who helped make this web site possible. First, I would like to thank my husband who gave me the idea of starting a website in the first place. He also is the webmaster who has put the website together and has done the videos for me. He also gives me alot of moral support. There are a number of Christian dance teachers who have helped teach me dance and choreography. Linda Sellers from Newmarket taught me the basics of ballet and Christian dance and taught me the essentials of choreography. It was through her that I danced with her team of Christian dancers at the church we both attended and at Massey Hall in Toronto. Without her I would never have had the opportuniity to dance at church in the first place. She helped me choreograph "The Grace Medley" as well. Alice Kwong from Richmond Hill taught me more ballet and helped me finish the choreography of the "The Grace Medley". She also helped me with the choreography of the other dances on the website including the ballet portion of "Come, Now is the time to worship." Charmaine Hines from Brantford helped me choreograph the last two-thirds of "Come, Now is the Time to Worship". She taught me how to use the jazz I had learned over the years, and apply it in the Christiandance context. My son Tim also helped during the videoing of some of these dances: especially, with the lighting. Last, but not least, I would like to thank God my Father and Jesus His Son for giving me the strength, courage and ability to dance and write about dance for His glory. I am hoping to finish the editing of this narration by Christmas 2005 in order to give God and His Son Jesus a gift from myself.
There is one more thing I wanted to mention. In the summer of 2004, we moved. For this reason, I decided to dance this worship song before one of my favourite windows of this house we moved into. I believe that if God gives us something, it is the highest way of thanking him for it, (in this case the new home) by using that which he gave us to worship him. In that spirit, than, I wanted to glorify and worship him through this song using the backdrop of this new home of ours.
I also wanted to discuss the different styles of dance. I think God wants us to use all styles and forms of music like hymns and comtemporary songs to worship him. In fact most churches I have been to in Ontario now use both hymns and more contemporary songs to worship. I think he also wants us to use all forms and styles of dance to worship him too. With this in mind, I decided to use different styles of dance in this particular dance choreography. I begin this song using more traditional ballet type moves and end the song using more contemporary jazzy type moves. I do it because I think we should use every form of dance to worship God and doing so in one song is a statement that unity among dancers even if they use different styles of dance is good. Like the famous quote goes, " United we stand, divided we fall. " To begin the dance I chose to wear a white dress that is very flowing at the beginning of the song. It is very much a ballet type dress that reinforces the idea that traditional ballet is being danced while this dress is worn. A large percentage of traditional ballet moves are consequently used up to this point in the song. About one-third of the way through the song , during an instrumental portion of the song, I do a twirl to represent the idea of change. When I finish the turn I have changed the clothes I wear. It is a white tunic and black pants.The change of clothes represents the idea that I am going to use more modern forms of dance to worship God. Consequently, I use more jazz steps and jazz and modern contemporary arm movements for the last two-thirds of the dance.
I will now turn to the dance and specific aspects of the choreography. The first word and accompanying dance step I wanted to discuss is come. In fact, the first word of the title of the song and the song itself is "Come". "The New Lexicon Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language,1988.", mentions that the definition of come is, "to approach". I invite people watching to approach God by worshipping him using various hand gestures. When we want someone to come or approach us or someone else we intuitively use similar gestures. In the beginning of the dance I use predominately ballet moves to express the words and ideas of the song. Hence, I use ballet gestures to invite people to approach God. I begin to express the idea of coming to God by having my arm in ballet second like the left picture shows and move my arm through to ballet first like the right picture shows. The video shows the movement sequence more effectively. I came up with the idea of using simple ballet arm moves to represent the idea of inviting people to come. The arm sequence or port-a-bras I use is a reversal of the traditional way people usually use these arm moves. Hence, it is called a reverse port-a bras. The song repeats the verse a number of times and I use slightly different more jazzy and day to day gestures to represent the idea of come later in the dance. I use different moves in order to keep it more interesting and to keep it intuitive for those who are familiar with or prefer jazzier moves or more day to day gestures.
One of the last gestures for come, that I use involves both of my hands joined together like the next picture shows. A teacher taught me this hand and arm move. I like what it can potentially represent so I wanted to discuss it in this narration. I use both hands which is meant to symbolize the idea of a joining together of many people. It is meant to represent the idea that everyone joins in, in worship and becomes involved. God wants to include everyone and wants everyone to join in. This move also can be used to represent the idea of gathering people or encouraging people to worship as a body or group. In church we do gather in order to approach or come to God in worship together too, not just as individuals. It is also meant to gather and invite people who have never made the decision yet to follow Jesus and to worship him. It is meant to encourage them to not be shy but worship instead. I wanted to share my interpretation of this move because Christians want to invite and gather others to God because God is great and they want to share all he has to offer people with them. When people find something or someone good they want to share what they found with others and want others to be part of what they found if they truly care about others. God my Father and Jesus his Son have given me so much and so I want others to have an opportunity to be given much too.
Worship is the other major word in the title and in the first line of the song. I have done an example of grace dancing, warfare dancing and I did the last narration on this website on praise and praise dancing. This song is very much about worship and worship dancing. Aimee Verduzco Kovacs in "Dancing into the Anointing" says, "Worship is God manifestiing Himself to us and through us in response to our praise." p42. I show that worship involves our praise and God's presence and his response to us by doing the next moves. The first move shows me giving to God praise and the next move shows God giving back in return his presence, love, joy, knowledge, wisdom etc. Notice in both moves my hands are flattenened as if holding something I am about to give or as if getting ready to receive something from someone. In the first move my fingers are pointing outward towards God who I am giving praise to. In the second move I am the recipient of the giving so the fingers are pointing to me. God is giving me something which I am receiving. I do this move in a circular motion motion with my arms. A circle never ends and niether does the giving and receiving aspects of worship. The video shows the moves in sequence. Robert in his book, " Worship is a Verb" say that "in worship God speaks and acts" p66. He also says "In worship God is present, speaking to me and acting upon me. It is in worship that God feeds, nourishes and cares for me."p66.
We sense when praise moves to worship when God responds to our praise with his presence or a response like joy, or wisdom that he gives to us. True worship then is a two way communication between the worshipper and God. Bob Sorge in his book"Exploring Worship", puts it another way., "Worship is conversation between God and man, a dialogue that should go on constantly in the life of a Christian." p65. We give praise to and speak to God before others and him and He speaks and gives back to us something we need like joy or peace or the comfort of His presence. As Bob puts it, "Worship is nothing more than opening one's heart to God and enjoying a relationship of loving communion with him." p. 84. As can be seen in this paragragraph than, an intimate relating with God is one element of worship. Secondly, this relationship involves a give and take. These moves shown and discussed in the last paragraph are a more modern style of movement that a teacher taught me. She also helped me interprete the meaning of this sequence of arm moves.
I also look up when doing these moves discussed in the last paragraph as if towards heaven or God because worship is about having a relationship with God who is in heaven which is up high. Any good relationship between people or in this case God , involves eye contact. As Bob in "Exploring Worship points out, " Worship involves "eye contact" with God --Worship is staring at God." Dance is one way of showing this aspect of worship because dancers instinctively look up to heaven when worshipping. Dance is one of the only forms of worship that literally shows the aspect of worship, namely --eye contact with God. Not many other forms of worship can show --eye contact with God so clearly. We metaphorically SEE his heart, love and Holy Spirit with our spirit when we are truly worshipping. What is interesting but sometimes hard to comprehend is that His throne may be in heaven but His Holy Spirit is present with his believers during worship. We may look to heaven to symbolise the special relationship and eye contact we have with God the Father and Jesus His Son who are in heaven but God "with us" or the third member of the Holy Trinity; namely, the Holy Spirit is present with believers during worship. In conclusion, focusing on or having eye contact with God is than a third element or manifestation of true Christian worship.
In the New testament in the book of John , Jesus was talking about true worship involving our spirit and God's Spirit. As Bob in "Exploring Worship", states when quoting from John 4:23-24, "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth." p.79. Bob goes on to say that "Jesus was showing that worship was going to be a function of the spirit of man reaching out to the Spirit of God. Bob continues further , "Worship is our spirit corresponding with God's Spirit."p79 Since my spirit is reaching out to the Spirit of God my arms reach up high to where God is to symbolize this idea of my spirit reaching out to the Spirit of God and my spirit corresponding with God's Spirit. My arms are more vertical and higher like these moves examplify when I worship God because the one I am relating to or conversing with is up high. God is higher or more perfect or greater then I am or others are so this move symbolizes this idea too. God is above me with respect to his majesty, love perfection etc. He is also up high literally in heaven which will be discussed later in this narration. I also touch my fingers to my lips to express this communication I have with God. This picture shows the move that starts this sequence of dance moves. I touch my fingers to my lips first to symbolize the idea that I am conversing with someone and then I look up and have my arms moving and reaching upward to convey the idea that my spirit is reaching up and conversing with God's Spirit. These sequences of moves can be seen in the video. This is one of my ways of showing worship through dance. It is my signature sequence of moves, so to speak, to show worship or conversing with God or in some dances I have done, to show adoration towards God. Over time I have created or invented moves and sequence of moves to express Christian feelings and ideas because I found the dance world did not have moves in their vocabulary to do so effectively. This is an example of dance words and dance sentences that I came up with. I think the Christian dance or litergical dance community should encourage the creation of dance words or vocabulary that is unique to Christian dance so the dancers can express Christianity more fully. Anyway, getting back to worship, a fourth element of worship that this step represents is the idea of communicating as shown by the touching of the lips. A fifth element that this sequence of moves represents involves the arm moves of reaching up high that can be interpreted as my spirit reaching up to God's Holy Spirit. Another way of putting it is: worship involves reaching up to God in order to relate or communicate with him and worship involves staring at or focusing on God.
As touched upon in the last paragraph,worship also has the elements of adoration, affection and kissing towards attached to it. When I touch my lips to my mouth which looks like a kiss directed towards God like the dance move discussed in the last paragraph that is another translation and meaning that can be attached to this sequence of moves. The communion experience with God is indeed deeply affectionate and filled with adoration. Worship too fills the worshipper with love and adoration towards God. According to Terry Law, in his book "The Power of Praise and Worship","The most commonly used word for worship in the New Testament is "Proskuneo". It is a combination of two separate Greek words "pros" which means towards, and "kuneo" which means to kiss. "Proskuneo" literally means to kiss towards."p136. This is what I do when I do the kissing move above. I kiss towards God. Showing affection and adoration towards God is part of worship and this move of "kissing towards" God shows this aspect of worship quite clearly. As Amy puts it, worship movements may be " movements of love and adoration to our Bridegroom-meaning Jesus."p44. I think this "kissing towards" move I like to do is the epitome of love and adoration and worship towards Jesus or God our Father that we can show through dance. This dance move than also symbolizes a sixth element of worship which is affectionate kissing towards God. It can be used to represent the kiss of a child of God towards their heavenly Father or the bride or lover of Christ towards Jesus. All healthy close relationships involve verbal and non-verbal communication, give and take within the relationship, affection, adoration, love, and eye contact or focus on the other during the communication process. This is true in human relationships as well as in the relationship with God. In conclusion then the dance moves used in this dance not only express important elements of close relationships but they also express elements of worship since worship and close relationships have an overlapping of similar elements within their definitions. Praise and worship also have an overlapping of elements or similar components in their definitions.
In my narration about praise I touched upon the differences between praise and worship. Showing how words that have similar elements that make up the definitions are different sometimes help to make the word's meanings more clear. I therefore, encourage people to read that narration about praise if they need to separate the difference between praise and worship. I wanted to sum up some of the differences between the two though, by mentioning what Bob says which is, "Praise is largely horizontal in its purpose, while worship is primarily a vertical interaction. Much happens on a horizontal level when we praise; we speak to one another, and we declare his praise before each other. But worship is more private and is much more preoccupied with the Godhead" p69. Worship then is more preoccupied with God the Father, Jesus the Son or the Holy Spirit. If you look at my praise video or other dancers praising God they often gesture horizontally with their hands toward the congregation or look to the congregation alot more when they praise God before them. Their eyes are horizontal, looking at the congregation alot more because the dancer is praising God before the congregation. God is vertical or up high in comparison to us and those around us. People around us are horizontal in space in comparison to us so to speak. Using our arms and corresponding gestures at a horizontal level speak to the congregation like this picture shows; while, using arms that are more vertical as if reaching to heaven or God suggest that it is to God we are focusing on or relating with and thus gesture to, like this picture shows. Likewise, I look up alot more in this video and look alot less at the congregation because this song is a worship song and not a praise song.
Dancing can show subtle differences in praising and worshipping God. Dance can be used to illuminate other aspects of Chirstianity and thus it is important for Christians to know how dance can be used. It is a potentially powerful tool that can be used to help people learn about many aspects about God and Christianity and differences in concepts about God or Christian principles and practices. For example, studying praise and worship dancing or talking about their difference like I have just done helps clarify for people the difference between praising and worshipping God. In summary then, when we praise God before man we look horizontally towards the congregation and use horizontal arm gestures. When we worship God we look vertically or upwards more and use more vertical arm movements Praise and worship have different meanings attached to them even though they have a similar element or component. Worship involves praise because praise is one of the important components of worship. Worship though also involves God revealing his presence to us or communicating back to us. During praise time or praise dancing God may not always respond so God's invitation to his presence and the response and communication he gives when he is present, is what moves praise to worship. As Terry puts it, "When we come to that final act of worship it is the divine invitation of the Lord Himself that draws us within the veil. It is the act of God's will to invite us into His presence in the act of worship" pp140-141. God's intimate presence is than an important element in true worship. God though decides if he will invite us through the veil to the throne where he is sitting. Robert was at a church that allowed elders to lead the worship time. As Robert explains "Another elder stood and remarked that worship brings us up into the heavens before the very throne of God. God's response and intimate presence before his throne is one of the major elements of worship many Christian writers talk about but is not present in praising God. Amy puts it another way "The Holy Spirit, as we praise God, brings us into worship." p42. Praise is therefore an important element necessary for worship. She also says, "Worship is initiated by God as we humble ourselves before Him. p42. In conclusion than it is up to us to praise God but up to God to invite or initiate worship and he often does so after we praise him. One element of worship than is praise. Another element of worship that must be present is God.
There is another move I use to express the idea of worshipping God. One of my teachers helped me with the jazz-style portion of it. The foot move is jazz. I lift my arms like the next picture shows. As touched upon earlier, one aspect of worship involves praising God and his name. To praise involves lifting someone or God up. Lifting God's name up as symbolized by arms lifted up high shows this praise. (Read the praise narration for a more indepth explanation of praise). Worship involves the concept of praise so lifting up my arms in such a way as if lifting him up or his name up in my hands, so to speak, is one way to express worship. How I expressed praise to symbolize this aspect worship can be seen in the picture. One half of worship as explained earlier involves man praisng him. Doing the move with a smile implies that God has responded to our praise by giving the individual praiser his presence and joy. God's joy is God's response to the praise of his child. God has responded back by giving joy. It is a give and take like all good relationships. Since worship is a two way communication between God and man, this move then is a different way of expressing worship. We praise God and he responds with his joy etc. that we feel and I express with a smile. The first time I do this move is when I wear my dress. The first time worship is mentioned in the song I first lift my arms as if lifting God's name up in praise. I than go into a balletic kneeling bow. This arm move is seen again when I am wearing the pants and lifting my arms twice. The foot moves during the second time uses jazz steps. Notice that the arm movements are the same but the foot moves are different. In this case, it is the foot moves that make one a modern ballet-style move and the other a jazz- style move. There are many words and dance moves that can be used to express praise and worship and each one often expresses or emphasizes a different component of praise and worship.
At the end of the song I use the same arm and face expressions but I do it in a kneeling position. My arms and eyes are vertical thus showing the communing with God element of worship. My arms are lifted up high in praise so the element of praise is also seen.This last move incorporates the element of praise, and communication with or communing with God. I smile to represent the idea that I have received the joy of God. I am also in a kneeling position to represent the idea of humbling myself which is another element of worship. I think it is befitting to end a song about worship by doing a worshipful stance that incorporates almost all of the elements of worship I have used earlier in the song. The last word of the song is "come" and I do this move when the last word is song because we come to "worship" God. This move not only summarizes worship but also who we are "coming" before, which is God. Worship is a hard ooncept to grasp never mind explain but I hope the dance moves and their explanations make it easier for people to see what worship is. This photo depicts the worship stance I am talking about.
As touched upon in the last paragraph and elsewhere in this narration, another element of worship is to show that the one I or we worship is greater than us and so we humble ourselves before them. When God blesses me I worship him. When things are not so great I try to worship him too even though that is hard to do. We tend to want to blame him for allowing problems in our lives or we are too upset to want to worship. Bob Sorge, in the book, "Exploring Worship", puts it this way, "This is the fundamental essence of worship: regardless of negative circumstances or complete emotional turmoil, I bow my heart and life before God Almighty, acknowledging his supreme Lordship."p.75. Bowing is a way that we show a humble heart, mind and spirit. When we humble ourselves by bowing etc. God responds with his presence. Like Aimee states, "Worship is initiated by God as we humble ourselves before Him" p42. According to Terry Law, "The Hebrew word for worship in the Old Testament is "shachah". It is translated, to bow down, to do reverence, to prostrate, beseech humbly. Sometimes it refers to a stretching out of the hands towards God. Sometimes a bending of the knee." p135-136. Before I do the bow sequence I stretch out my hands towards God.
This right picture shows how I stretch out my hands in Worship to God. I immediately follow this port-a bras with a bow. I use both the arms and knee motion that Terry discussed to express worship. This sequence of worship dance moves I think it would be safe to say is an Old Testament "shachah" type worship. I chose a ballet-type bow of my knees, upper body and head as the first manifestation of worship in this song because I think that move embodies what worship is as described above by Bob, Aimee and Terry. This above picture shows this bow. I have bowed my body physically to express that I am bowing my heart before God and doing so to acknowledge he is the sovereign King that I chose to humbly bow before.
Bowing is a way to show physically how we view God in comparison to ourselves. By bowing we acknowlege that he is greater than us. The bible also refers to worship as involving kneeling and bowing before God and encourages us to bow down and kneel before God our maker. Bowing and kneeling before God during worship is a biblically sanctioned way of worshipping God and is encouraged. For example, in Psalms 95:6-7 it says, "Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God. " New International Version of the Holy Bible. 1978. Worship is than an intimate relationship or communion between God or someone else and a worshipper and furthermore , worship is also a bowing or humbling before the one we worship and in this song that would be God.
"Come, now is the time to worship" is one verse in this song and was discussed extensively in the preceding paragraphs. Another verse of this song I would like to talk about is "One day every tongue will confess you are God. One day every knee will bow." Throughout the bible there are verses that talk about every knee bowing to Jesus or God the Father or the Lord God and every tongue confessing to them. For example, in the Old Testament, in Isaiah, it states, "And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked : Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear. They will say of me, "In the Lord alone are righteousness and strength.'"All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame." Isaiah 45::21-24. In the New Testament Jesus and God the Father are the ones everyone will bow to.
In Philippians 2:8-11 , it is made clear that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow. This is what the verses say."And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."In other parts of the New Testament similar statements aboout every knee bowing and every tongue confessing are reiterated but it is clear in the following verse we will all at some point in time bow and confess at the throne of judgment. Paul was talking about judging the food traditions and practices of fellow Christians and issues about sacred days. His conclusion was "You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: "As surely as I live, ' says the Lord, "Every kness will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God." So then, each of us will give account of himself to God. Romans: 14 10-12.
Many people in this day and age mock and ignore God the Father, Jesus his Son, and the followers of Jesus. Like the above verses point out, one day everyone will be judged and bow before God and give answer for their behaviour including their mocking behaviour towards God. Those who love God and who have accepted Jesus as their Lord will be forgiven. They will not be judged and condemned at this time for they are already forgiven. See the "Grace narrations" for details. Their faith in Jesus's saving grace spares them from this judgment. That will be a terrifying time for mockers and unbelievers and those who rejected and neglected God and a joyful celebratory time for Christians because Christians will receive forgiveness instead. For enemies of God and those who neglect hiim, his throne is a throne of judgment. For those who are not the friends and children of God yet but would like to be this song is an invitation for them to come before the throne of their creator and Father, forgiven, loved, and comforted. In fact right now God's throne is a throne of Grace that we can all come to; Right Now. We can come to it if we believe in Jesus. I write these narrations without monetory compensation partly because I do not want anyone to find the judgment day to be a terrifying time but a time of joy and reward instead. This future promise and foretelling brings hope for Christians. For me it also brings sadness when I contemplate the fate of unbelievers and mockers. It is my desire that people who read what I write about will turn to God the Father their creator and Jesus His Son and find peace and joy and love and his fellowship.The above bible references comfort and encourage me to continue doing what God wants me to do even though it seems that many people around me seem to have little regard for God. Sometimes I get discouraged by it all. I can see why new Christians may be tempted to give up and say being a Christian is too high a cost and give up. I hope that when other Christians watch and contemplate the truth about every knee bowing and every tongue confessing they are also strengthened to continue the Christian walk and path God has set for them and not give up.
As I alluded to in the last paragraph, those who have ignored God the Father and rejected His Son Jesus all their lives will come before the white throne of judgment not the throne of grace which the worshippers of God can come to now, and during the judgment day. John in the book of revelation stated, "Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." Revelations 20: 11-12, 14-15. This white throne is not going to be a positive place to be for the enemies of God because we are all imperfect and will be judged for sinful actions. We all need to be saved by Jesus from this future judgment. Those who believe in him and accept him as their Lord and Saviour will be thoroughly forgiven because they, when they accept him into their lives move from being dead to being spiritually alive. Their names are written in the book of life. I do not like the fire and death imagery of the bible. I like the throne of grace imagery better. The throne of grace is real right now and Christians all over the world experience God's grace and presence like this. Now is the time to come to worship God and get to know him; not when it is too late.
We can bow down now at this very minute as if bowing before the throne of God the Father and Jesus the Son and sense their presence and be strenghened by the touch of God. Kneeling as if to someone on a throne merely represents and dramatizes this truth. When I humble myself by bowing and kneeling before him he blesses me with whatever I need from him at the present including the sense of his power and presence which I find comforting and uplifting. Many churches have benches for kneeling. They have realized that bowing before the throne of God right now brings a child of God close to him in a very real and sweet way. God responds to his people in a very gentle way when they bow before him now during this age of grace. I show the idea of bowing by getting on my knees like I discussed earlier to show one of the elements of worship. After all like the verse says one day every knee and heart shall humbly bow in worship. I also do a jazz roll into a bowing of the knees sequence as seen later in the video. It is hard to show this move using pictures.
There is another aspect of worship and worship dance that I wanted to touch on. This song is rooted in an event namely, the act of worshipping God. by bowing our knees, giving our hearts to him etc. As Robert Webber in his book, "Worship is a Verb states, "In both the Old and New Testaments, Worship is rooted in an actual event."p28. This song is about the event of worshipping God in the here and now during this age of grace. It is also about worshipping God in the future. As Robert in "Worship is a Verb", states "Worship tells and acts out the Christ-event."p45. He goes on the say "Worship tells and acts out the life, death, resurrection and coming again of Christ through the proclamation of the word and table."p45.After Jesus' resurrection he returned to the Father and was exalted so that every knee shall bow to him and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. This word of God is t aken straight from Phillipians and told through song. I act out the every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess through dance. I in effect am telling and acting out the fact that we will all worship Jesus by kneeling to him in the future. I am also inviting people to worship him in the same way now during this age of grace. The actual event in this song is a worshipper in the act of worship. Robert also talks about the biblical basis for the order in worship. He states, "By telling and acting out the story of the Gospel in our services, we reveal the natural sequence of worship. The earliest evidence for this sequence of Christian worship is found in the description in Acts 2: 42. "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." p55. The apostle Paul's teaching about every knee bowing and every tongue confessing is revealed in this song and in the interpretive dance. Christian worship dance then can tell and act out the apostles' teaching and this dance is an example of this.
As I touched upon in the last paragraph, worship is rooted in the events found in the word of God or the Holy Bible. As Robert puts it, "Therefore, the twofold focus of worship is the Word (the Bible as the symbol of God speaking) and the Table."p45. Since the Bible teaches us about the Christ-event and how to praise and worship God I begin the song in a pose as the picture shows. It is meant to represent the idea of holding open of the bible. Since all worship is based on events and truths and words of God found in the Bible; it follows then, that the bible is important in order to help us learn how to worship as God intended us to. It is also a symbol of God speaking. It is fitting I think, then for a song about worship to begin with a gesture meant to represent the Holy Bible.
One day every knee will bow is talked about in the bible. The Bible also says that every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. The song also says "One day every tongue will confess you are God." I show the idea of every tongue confessing by putting my hands to my mouth. Everyone will confess to God that Jesus is Lord and God so my hands go up to towards where God is, either on the throne or in heaven whichever way you want to interprete it and my head tilts upward too like the next picture shows. We make the confession to God so I gesture the confession towards him. Everyone on earth will confess to him, so the first time this verse is said I gesture to everyone watching. I motion to all who are watching that it includes them. Like the verse from Phillipians alluded to-- all nations will worship him and all pricipalities, including angels and demons and the devil. This verse is repeated a number of times so for one of the repeats I try to show that everyone in heaven will too. Everyone in heaven including the angels will confess that Jesus is Lord so my hands go up towards where heaven and angels are, and my heads tilts upwards too.
I confess with an upward confession gesture to represent the idea that angels in heaven will confess that Jesus is Lord, and a downward confession gesture like the following picture shows to include that those those under the earth will confess this too.
I use only one hand cupped and touching my lips during the other repeats of the verse, like the following picture shows. It gets boring to see the same move more than twice so I change the moves slightly to add interest. This truth is found in the bible.In Philipians 2 10-11, it says after all "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." The song repeats the verse three times. For the first repeat, I gesture to those on earth and the next time to those in heaven and finally those under the earth. I, in effect, act out this verse in the bible during this song. I came up with the idea of gesturing to those watching the dance or those on earth confessing that Jesus is Lord. Someone else taught me the dance moves to represent the idea of those in heaven and under the earth confessing that Jesus is Lord. It is good for dancers to work together because other people can give you ideas and dance moves that mean the same thing or moves that have slightly different meanings but that can add interest and illumination nonetheless. The choreographing of a song can be finished quicker when more people are helping in the process. Two heads are better than one during the choreography process.
It is indeed a treasure to choose and worship God now when he is bestowing love, joy, peace, mercy and grace through his Son Jesus. His presence is the greatest treasure to have. His love, joy, peace, mercy and grace and forgiveness is what everyone needs and is looking for. It is also what God wants to give to us. What we treasure we hold close to our heart. I mime this idea of treasure wiith my hands clasped and close to my heart like this picture shows in order to symbolise this idea of treasure. The greater treasure is to receive the presence of God in ones life now. Like the song says "Still the greatest treasure remains for those who gladly choose you now." I first grasp the treasure with my hands and then bring the treasure and hands close to my heart. The video shows the sequence of moves more clearly then pictures can. The God, people and things we value the most are also those that are closer to our heart. I value God and the treasures he gives such as His peace and joy. It is my desire for everyone to gladly choose him now. I write these narrations partly because I do not want anyone to go through what the bible says will inevitably happen. I want people to be spared this suffering of judgment and aloneness in the here and now and during the judgment to come. I want people to feel love, joy and peace and God's presence in the here and now and forever. Worship gives us these and more.
The greatest treasure is found when we bow our heart and knees to him now and when we come before him in faith and belief. The best time to come to God in worship is now when he is offering us the treasures of his presence and his grace, love ,joy and peace. I show the idea of choosing God "now" like the next picture shows. "Now" connotes the idea of the present time. A dancer can move forward to represent the idea of moving forward into the future. A dancer can move back in the podium for example to represent the idea of moving back to the past. A dancer can remain stationery wherever she is dancing to represent the idea that the word "now" means at the present time or this moment in time. I do this move to represent "now", in a stationary position in which my feet are not moving in order to represent worshipping now; not in the future or not in the past but in the present, right now.
I would like to share more dance steps and the way they can be translated or interpreted within this particular song but as my husband says if a narration gets too long it becomes boring. Instead I would like to conclude this narration about worship and worship dance as revealed in this song and choreography. Worship is a difficult concept to define. In fact, in the book "Exploring Worship", Morris Smith said, "Real worship defies definition; it can only be experienced." p66. Still attempting to define worship helps us understand something of the basic nature of worship" p65, as Bob Sorge in the same book points out.
Worship does involve a number of elments or characteristics which the dance moves represent. These elements of worship include: humbling ourselves before the one we worship, the spirit of man reaching out to the Spirit of God, praise towards God, God manifesting Himself to us and a relationship of loving communion with God. I have broken down the relationship down futher into its component parts or elements. This spiritual relationship with God involves these elements: verbal and non-verbal communication, give and take, affection, adoration, love and eye contact with or focus on God. Worship is also rooted in an event or truth found in either the New or Old testaments. The different worship moves in this choreography symbolize and express these different elements of worship. We can worship now if we choose. One day though we will all worship God at his throne of judgment.The song, dance and narration touch upon this aspect of Christian worship too.
What is so profound about Jesus is that people were worshipping him even when he waa a baby. For example, the Magi (Wisemen) from the east came to worship the baby Jesus. As Matthew 2:11 states, "On coming to the house, they (the wisemen) saw the child with his mother Mary and they bowed down and worshipped him (Jesus)." Even as a child wisemen worshipped him. Since Jesus was born, billions of people have bowed down and worshipped him and they still are during this age of grace. Wisemen and women still bow down and worship him. The story of the wise men at Christmas is still taught at churches all over the world to this day. Since I was finishing this narration for Christmas I thought it befitting to mention this Bible story here and now.