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A Divine Dance

By Andrew Goins

Watauga CountyAndrew Goins


“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness”

Human life is full of sickness and sorrow. Leaping and laughing. Death and decay. Joy and jubilation. It is dynamic. Fluid. The only thing left unchanging is change itself. Think of the tree’s metamorphosis. The green leaves that clothe the trees are transformed into a vivid red on the maple. Quickly and everso faithfully, the leaves fall in the autumn. In the spring, colors clothe the trees again. It is as if creation is crying “Life! Death! Resurrection!” This is the life of creation. This is the life of the creatures dwelling in creation.

Change and transformation are baked into the fabric of the universe.

We might translate the dynamic life with a wandering life. We are travelers. Sojourners. Nomads. Vagabonds. Put on your bible thinking cap and recollect the first time we humans wandered in the story of the bible.

“After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”  ~Genesis 3:24

Humans sinned. Consequently, God led the humans out of the garden of goodness into a life of wandering in desert lands and wondering if they might ever be welcomed back.

Full of the Spirit, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to wander on behalf of humanity. Jesus understood that life with His Father was a dance. An intimate entanglement full of twists and twirls, of leaving and cleaving, leaping and laughing. Just like any dance, there is a leader and a follower. The Father is the leader, the Son is the follower.

Jesus lived a life of complete obedience to the Father in our name so that we might participate in the Divine dance in His name.

This is the mystery of the gospel. This is the great exchange in which we live vicariously in the Son, through the Spirit being drawn deeper and deeper into the heart of the Father. This is true communion.

What is needed in this relationship for the dance to work? Trust.

For Jesus, trust enabled a life of communion with the Father through the Spirit in this dance with the Divine.

“For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”   John 12:49-50

Jesus trusted the Father. We were unable to do this. Jesus did this in our name so that we might dance with the Father in His name.

Jesus wandered in the wilderness so that we might be welcomed back into a new and better garden of Eden. Jesus wandered in the wilderness to answer our wondering “Will we ever be welcomed back into the loving presence of God?” Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are a resounding “Yes! Yes!”

“I know that His command leads to eternal life.” The Father’s command always leads to eternal life. Jesus was led into the wilderness. Think that act required trust? YES! Jesus prayed in the garden “My Father if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Think that prayer took trust? Of course!

The Christian life is dangerous. The Christian life is scary. The Christian life is transformative.

In C.S. Lewis’ “the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” Lucy asks “is Aslan safe?” and the beaver answers “Safe?… Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you!”

Friends, this is the nature of the Divine dance. It is unsafe. But, what is a dance if not an expression of bubbling joy and bursting delight? So I invite you to dance with the Divine. Trust that his commands lead to you flourishing as the Father leads you into eloquent flourishes, gracious twists and turns, and sweet sweet communion with the Father, through the Spirit, in Christ.


Andrew Goins is on staff for a campus ministry at Appalachian State University called Ratio Christi. He also works as a youth leader and worship leader at Arbor Dale Presbyterian Church in Banner Elk. 

Andrew is committed to simply and thoroughly loving his wife Bethany, growing in his bible nerdiness, delighting in good books (theology, poetry, and select fiction), music, photography, creation, and in gathering people together for bible studies, a shared meal, or making music. 

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