The Father of Lights
The Grace Trilogy was about the Son, "The Father of Lights" is focused on the Father.
The musical prelude is a great opportunity to visually represent the walk we have with God our Father who is in heaven. This is what I will do. As a child my earthly father would take my hand and safely lead and direct me across the road. Our father who is in heaven will also guide and direct us along the roadways of life if we but take his hand in faith.
I mime putting my hand in my Father's hand who is in heaven. I do this by extending my arm up towards heaven with my hand mimicking grasping the hand of God. I do a simple balletic walk looking up towards heaven signifying that I am walking with God.
The first verse of the song is "I'm changed I'm not the same." Once I accepted Jesus into my life, I became born again. I became, so to speak, a spiritual infant of God my Father. In other words God my Father trained me to be who he wanted me to be. I was changed. I've turned away from many past behaviours and wrongdoings. In other words I've turned away from or changed many of my past ways. He also made us with specific talents, strengths and gifts and he helps us use these for his kingdom.
To symbolize this I do a turn. One way I've changed is that I began to be filled with God's joy. I'm a happier person when I walk hand in hand with my Father in heaven. I dramatize this by changing my countenance. It changes from the sadness expressed in my face before the turn, to joy expressed after the turn is completed.
"I'm changed I'm not the same." is repeated frequently. During some of the repeats I shake my head adamantly to emphasize "I'm not the same" The focus or emphasis in these repeats is the idea of "not". I cross my hands in front of me and move them in a sweeping motion to the side of me to visually express the idea of "not" or "no way" am I the same.
The next verses are "The Father called me by my name. He called me through his Son." God my spiritual Father has called me home to him and he calls you too if you choose to come home to him as well. I mime this idea by putting my hand up to my ears as if I'm listening to his call and looking up to him who is in heaven.
We come to the Father through Jesus the Son by accepting that he died for us. There is only one way to the Father and that is through his Son. His Son died so our relationship with the Father can be restored. In other words so that we can walk closely with God our Father here on earth.
I personify and mime the cross by extending my arms and doing a relevee with pointed and crossed feet.In this way I show he called me through the son.
The verse "We are the first fruits" is symbolized by doing the grapevine step and motioning to those that are watching that they are involved in the "we". We who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour are part of the grapevine. We are the individual fruit of the vine that we are joined to. Jesus is the vine from which we get our sustenance. We may be a kind of first fruit but more will be called as time goes on.
I gesture to all the believers watching to symbolize we are the first fruits who have been called through Jesus. We believers may symbolically be first called but hopefully others watching or hearing the good news will join him too.
God is also the King so as the next stanza reveals we are "the children of the King ." God is the Father but he is also God who is the King . Even though he is the king we are his children. We are born into his family after we receive Jesus into our hearts. The Christian family of believers involves new young believers-new born infants and more mature believers. Again I mimic taking God's hand to symbolize I am his child. I also put one foot back with a bent knee looking down to symbolize that I yield to his will. My jazz hands are to the side palms forward.
The next verse in this song is "praise to the Father of Lights". It is repeated four times. Praise involves declaring the deep joy that is part of the relationship we (I) have with God. Joy is one of the chief motivators for Christians like me to want to dance. The praise and joy in this song is what makes it such a happy tune. God does indeed bestow joy on his children.The writer of the song, Russell Fragar, puts it this way "this is simply a happy song based in part on James 1 verses 17-18. James encourages us to remember such things as the joy of being called by God". I feel joy about being called to be a Christian dancer and to tell the Good news through dance.
During the first repeat I express this joy and happiness by placing my hands in a fist and miming the idea of victory. My arms are first high up in the shape of a "V" and moving downwards. It is somewhat reminiscent of fans cheering their team at the Superbowl. In other words I express this joy, this happiness by doing cheering motions to my Father.
During the second repeat I emphasize this idea of light. Our Father is the creator of the sun, moon and stars. God is the creator of all the heavenly bodies that shine. He is the creator of all light including the light and sunshine he bestows in our soul when we abide in him. I use jazz hands palms forward and movements of the arms downwards and to the side akin to rays to mime the radiance or emanating light of the sun and stars. It is also meant to express the joy , the sunshine and light that he blesses me with in my soul. This dance movement is used to conjure up the image of the rays of the sun.
During the third repeat I do a variation of the light theme by use of pulsating hand motions to express this light he bestows in our souls. It is meant to represent the pulsating light of a lighthouse. We become a lighthouse or witness to the world that God does exist by abiding in his children.We become a lighthouse shining God's light in the world. This dance move is meant to conjure up the image of a lighthouse. In other words since our Father is the Father of light, we become the children of the light, when we abide in him his light shines within us. When his light shines through us our countenance changes and people sense the presence of the Father of lights in us.
When God the Father's Spirit is in my heart, I want to declare that joy by doing a twirling motion. During the fourth repeat I do a twirl as a climatic way of expressing this deep joy we feel about being called by God and of being close to God. Life is so bright when we are walking and dancing with him.
Metaphorically speaking when we are in the presence of our Father we are living in the bright sunshine of daytime since God is pure light. When we are far away from him we are walking away from his sunshine. We walk in the night. In God there is also only goodness and the light; there is no evil or darkness. The next phrase of the song I think talks about this. It is "In him there is day there is no night."
Sometimes because of circumstances other people or personal mistakes, I find myself in a pit. In other words there is a temptation for me to take the spiralling road down to a pit of misery, despair, fear, guilt or some other unhealthy psychological or spiritual state. God may discipline me but he does not destroy his children. The father of darkness or the night wants to tempt us to take this spritually spiralling road down. The Father of lights wants us instead to bask in his light, straight and tall and close to him.
I dramatize this psychological and spiritual state by doing a form of the twist down to the ground ending with my head in my hands.
I would rather be standing straight and joyfully praising my Father who is in heaven and sensing his light and proximity. Father of lights focuses on this joy and reminds us that in his presence there is no night. In this piece there is a blend of different dance styles, namely jazz,contemporary dance elements and ballet as well as mime to convey the truth about the Father.
In our heavenly Father there is only light so if I abide in him his light will be in me and there will be no darkness in me either. In other words I will have victory over the father of darkness if I remain walking hand in hand with the father of lights which is encouraging. I extend my arms to a 45 degree angle with my pointer fingers pointing up to heaven to create the image of a "V". The song ends with this dance move: the sign of victory.