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Adventure into the God-Dance

• Scott Boren

Mary’s Song illustrates for us what participation with God in the divine dance looks like. Her song paints a broad picture that helps us understand what it means to get involved in the God life. Recorded in Luke 1:46-55, Mary’s song is an expression of worship, but not just any kind of worship. Her song is one that paints a specific picture of a dance with God, a risky dance of adventure with the untamable, unfathomable God.

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Mary’s Song illustrates for us what participation with God in the divine dance looks like. Her song paints a broad picture that helps us understand what it means to get involved in the God life. Recorded in Luke 1:46-55, Mary’s song is an expression of worship, but not just any kind of worship. Her song is one that paints a specific picture of a dance with God, a risky dance of adventure with the untamable, unfathomable God.

It is hard for us to understand her response to God because by nature we are not people who like adventures. In fact, we are trained to avoid adventures or at least manage them. We are taught to control circumstances and others so that we can produce a predictable and favorable outcome. The problem is that we import this need to control into our relationship with God, thereby resulting in a boring, predictable non-interactive fake relationship with God.

Instead of a relationship of control, Mary illustrates a relationship of passion and love, one of a risky, adventuresome dance with God. There are four movements in this dance.

1. The Invitation – God Extends His Hands to Us. In verse 48, we discover her reason for her worship.

God initiated the dance. He loved her first. He demonstrates his passion for us first. Worship is not something we do because we want God to be pleased with us. It is not something we do because we need God to do something for us. It is a natural spontaneous response to God’s love that He demonstrates first. He exhibits His goodness before we ever realize that He is worthy of worship. He invites us to dance.

2. The Response – I Join Him by Worshipping. We have a choice.

We have the freedom to reject his invitation. We can remain on the sidelines and miss out on the adventuresome dance. Or we can enter into the dance and join the high priest in worship. Hebrews 8:1-2 tells us that we have a high priest (Jesus) who sits in the heavenly tabernacle worshipping. Jesus is the eternal worship leader. He leads us in our worship. We need not stir up worship or try to manufacture some kind of expression to God. We only need to place ourselves in Him and allow Him to flow worship through us.

3. The Gaze – God Changes Our Plans.

Mary stated that God had done great things for her. This is puzzling because God had turned her life upside down. He had messed up her plans. She would be forever known as the one who had a child out of marriage. And few knew the truth about the fact she was still a virgin. Why was she not confused and frustrated, complaining to God about what He had done to her? The reason is found in her gaze. She was focused on the Lord, not on her circumstances. As she danced with God, her circumstances were quite different than she expected, but she refused to analyze her circumstance and chose to TRUST.

4. The Union – This is Kingdom Movement.

Mary realized that she was not alone in this dance. In verses 54-55, she focuses on the blessings of God upon Israel. We can become so “me” focused that we fail to realize that God’s love is so big that he loves you just as much as he loves me. Even more so, He demonstrates His love as we relate to one another in the church, the agency of the Kingdom. As we relate, we learn how to dance with God from one another.

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Topics: Worship


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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 1:46-55

    And Mary said:

    “My soul glorifies the Lord

    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

    for he has been mindful

    of the humble state of his servant.

    From now on all generations will call me blessed,

    for the Mighty One has done great things for me—

    holy is his name.

    His mercy extends to those who fear him,

    from generation to generation.

    He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;

    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

    He has brought down rulers from their thrones

    but has lifted up the humble.

    He has filled the hungry with good things

    but has sent the rich away empty.

    He has helped his servant Israel,

    remembering to be merciful

    to Abraham and his descendants forever,

    just as he promised our ancestors."

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