Reflecting El Roi: moving Isaiah 40:3-5

The Word in the Wings
By: Jessica Noonan
Over the past two months, Glorify Dance Theatre has been studying Scripture to prepare our hearts for Holy Week, Easter, and the upcoming performances of Reflecting El Roi. We began by asking questions: How does one prepare her heart? Let’s take a look at how the dancers interpreted Isaiah 40:3-5 through movement.

Reflecting El Roi: gracious giving

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Weaver
What does Jesus say about the lenten discipline of almsgiving? Fr. Mike Schmitz says almsgiving is something you do consistently to bless others. Luke 4 describes a scene early in Jesus’s ministry where he teaches in the synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth and stirs up strong feelings there about what God is doing to bless people.

Reflecting El Roi: prayer, solitude, and rest

The Word in the Wings
By: Jessica Noonan
This month the dancers and I have been studying the meaning and importance of Lent. We have learned that lenten disciplines should include giving up something in your life that is moving you away from God or doing something that will bring you closer to God. Prayer is a tool for conversations with our beloved Father.

Reflecting El Roi: exquisite delight

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Weaver
A close reading of Isaiah 58 shows how YHWH promises to satisfy those who truly seek God when they fast. Words of hopeful anticipation appear toward the end of the chapter, but it begins by expressing God’s painful awareness of a disjuncture between the people’s religious expression and the true orientation of their hearts.

Reflecting El Roi: fasting

The Word in the Wings
By: Lee Giles
Jesus said, “When you fast,” not “if you fast.” I have fallen into a regular routine of going on a complete fast on Fridays, which I break during our family communion service each Friday evening. I view my regular fast as a way to remind my flesh it is crucified. It doesn’t get to speak to me, doesn’t get to tell me what to do, doesn’t get its way. It can’t even tell me it’s hungry or thirsty. In baptism our flesh is crucified, dead and buried, and we are resurrected, clothed in Christ.

Reflecting El Roi: what should we do?

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Weaver
Dancers don’t always know what movements they’ll need to execute during class or rehearsal, but a thorough warmup prepares them for anything the choreographer might ask them to do. In a similar way, we humans usually can’t anticipate exactly how God will show up in our day or in world history. But for as long as God has related to humans, God has given direction for ordering decisions and daily life in a way that prepares us to respond when God does something amazing and unexpected.

Reflecting El Roi: practicing preparation

The Word in the Wings
By: Audrey Hammitt
Breath of the arm…See the room with your eyes…Oh, my calves are tight this morning…These are some of the thoughts dancers might have as they warm up for a day of rehearsing or performing. How does this compare to preparing the way of the Lord during Lent?

Advent reflection: “the life was the light”

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Weaver
To reflect on the arrival of Jesus this Advent season, the dancers and I studied John 1:1-18 and asked the questions: Does John refer to “light” and “darkness” literally and/or metaphorically? What is the relationship among Word, God, life, and light? What is the symbolic significance of the light? What changes when Jesus arrives?

Oikia: taught and transformed

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Weaver
In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus’s “Sermon on the Plain” includes a series of images instructing his listeners in how to be good disciples. Jesus’s concluding image in this passage, the parable of the wise and foolish builders, is the inspiration for Glorify Dance Theatre’s short ballet Oikia, which they’ve been performing for preschool audiences throughout the fall. When this parable is considered together with the others preceding it, the images dynamically represent the choices and consequences involved in discipleship.

Oikia: when the storms come…

The Word in the Wings
By: Audrey Hammitt
You’ve probably said or heard it said, “When it rains, it pours.” This phrase is often used to illustrate that when something hard happens in life, there are bound to be more hard things that follow it. In our company Bible studies for our children’s ballet Oikia, we looked at Matthew 7, in which Jesus tells the parable of the wise and foolish builders.

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