He plays, we dance


            And the Lord said, “To what then shall I liken the men of this generation, and what are they like?  They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, saying: 

            ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;

            we mourned to you and you did not weep.’   

           For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’  The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’  But wisdom is justified by all her children” (Luke 7: 31-35.)


            John the Baptist lived in the wilderness and preached a message of repentance in preparation for the arrival of the messiah (Jesus.)  John did not drink wine, and he and his followers fasted regularly.  He baptized people in the Jordan River, and had no affiliation with the priests in Jerusalem; the priests hated him because the majority of the Jewish people believed he was a prophet, and he undermined their authority by baptizing people with water, for the remission of sins.  John was seen as a threat because he recognized the corruption of the priests, and publicly called them to repent and be baptized.  They refused, because they wanted to keep their power, their wealth, their full stomachs, and their fine clothing.  They wanted John to ‘lighten up;’ they wanted him to ‘play nice;’ this is what Jesus was referring too when he said the priests were like children who ‘played the flute’ for John but he didn’t dance.  (Children in the marketplaces would try to get reactions out of others.)  When John didn’t ‘dance,’ they condemned him as ‘demon possessed.’  Jesus referred to himself as ‘The Son of Man’ (an Old Testament title given to the Messiah.)  He said, “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking.”  He and his disciples drank wine, and didn’t fast, because they were celebrating his arrival as the Messiah.  The religious leaders didn’t want anyone celebrating Jesus as the messiah, so they condemned him and his disciples as drunkards and deviants.  This is what is meant by, ‘we mourned to you and you did not weep.’  The religious leaders called Jesus and John evil in an attempt to regain control, with little regard for right and wrong.  They didn’t want to dance to God’s tune, and God doesn’t dance to a man’s tune, so these men became enemies of God.  Rather than helping, they were hindering His work.  Jesus said, “But wisdom is justified by all of her children.”  The children he was referring too were all of his followers.  Those who were repenting were coming to Jesus and giving their lives back to God.  The religious leaders had no one coming to them, because they had nothing to offer.  They had no children, no converts, no followers, because they were blind.

            Many churches have multiple pastors.  Often times a person who is stuck in sin will go to one pastor for counseling, but when faced with the idea of change, they rebel.  Not liking the answer they found with one pastor, they will go to the next pastor hoping for a different outcome.  Until they’ve exhausted all of the pastors.  If they are still unwilling to change themselves they may change churches.  They may go to the next church, a more liberal church, and if rejected for their lifestyle or sin at that church, they will go to the next church.  Often, when exiting a church they condemn the leaders and the church itself.  Today, there are whole churches that have become ‘last stops’ for those who have ventured down this path.  Many of the churches, no longer teach from the word of God, because to do so would make their ‘luke-warm’ congregations feel uncomfortable.  ‘Judgment, hell, condemnation, or change;’ ‘let’s just get rid of the bible and avoid all of these negative reactions’ (sarcasm.)  I was driving by a building that resembled a church, but the sign outside was promoting same-sex marriage.  I pulled my car over and stopped in; hoping to discover what portion of the bible might support their stand on this issue.  The pastor told me, “we’re not biblical literalists.”  What she was really saying was, ‘since God wouldn’t dance to our tune, we had to get rid of him.’  ‘Since God wouldn’t play our game, we’ll just remove the parts of God we don’t like.’ 

            Today, as Christians, we shouldn’t attempt to make God dance to our tune; we’re supposed to dance to His.  We aren’t to chisel portions of the bible out of our minds and hearts to continue on in some sinful practice.  Reading the bible is invaluable in any Christian’s life.  Why?  If you were about to jump out of an airplane and you were being told the directions on how to pull the cord, would you be interested in what you were hearing?  Your life depends on the words in the bible; you cannot be transformed unless you expose yourself to it.  You cannot grow to know more about God unless you are reading His word.  Followers of the Lord make scripture reading a part of daily living; all the scripture, not just the warm fuzzy ones; but the ones that challenge you to change and be more like Him.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You now and we ask and pray that You change us to be more like You.  Give us a hunger to read Your word and to dance to Your tune.  Help us to submit ourselves to Your leading.  We love You Lord, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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