Dancing with Beauty

In Matthew 11:28 and following we hear Jesus calling us to rest, to join him by taking on his easy yoke, to walk with him. There is something about those words. I imagine myself in the crowd that day and see a ordinary man, without any religious credentials or anything about him that would give him any status, standing up and proclaiming rest, peace or as the Old Testament puts it “shalom.” He was offering something other than normal life. Something wildly different from the religious demands of the temple system. He was offering relationship with The Beautiful.

And he is inviting us to join him in this beautiful restful dance with THE Beautiful. It’s both safe and wild. It’s restful and moving. It’s like dancing with fire, but all the while it energizes without igniting.

Sadly too much of Christianity fails to emphasize this. It seems that we emphasize one of two ditches. Either we focus on our justified status before God and tell people there’s nothing else. Or we focus on the actions of Christians and tell people what they need to do to walk out their salvation and be more like Jesus. Both are absolutely correct but at the same time both fail to capture the imagination of what it means to follow Jesus. The reason is that both try to communicate in abstract, logical categories what it means to be a Jesus follower. And in so doing it’s impossible to synthesize the mystery of resting in our redeemed status as justified believers with the call to take up the cross and give our entire lives to Christ. Inevitably we teeter between laziness and zealotry. And that seems to me to be exactly what’s happening between those who are calling the church to take a leap of faith into radical zealot like action and those who are making the entire conversation about the center of the Gospel.

The call to rest in Christ is an invitation to dance with The Beautiful. It reveals the mysterious nature of God that we cannot fully define with all of our logic because dancing, like love cannot be fully explained. It cannot be completely defined. It’s just beautiful. And as we dance, we find ourselves at rest while at the same time moving to the ways of Jesus.

How are you dancing with God today?

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M. Scott Boren is a Teaching Pastor at Woodland Hills Church in Saint Paul, MN and consultant who partners with The Missional Network (www.themissionalnetwork.com). He has written and co-written eight books, including Introducing the Missional Church, Missional Small Groups and MissioRelate. He share life with his bride, Shawna, and their four children, all under the age of eight. He can be reached at his website: www.mscottboren.com.