Fleshing Out Faith

From January 2-5, a group of 21 folks headed out from Tuscaloosa to go to the College Conference at Montreat, a gathering of over 1000 people, most of whom were college students. The theme for the conference was Fleshed Out, with speakers addressing what the ‘Word made flesh’ might actually mean. We were challenged not to be followers of Jesus through mere spoken words, but to be active disciples who put flesh and meat on the bones of our faith through action. What this looks like is limitless: seeking justice, loving our enemies, washing the feet of the sick, and on and on.

But what I’ll remember about this conference is another way we flesh out our faith: through dance.

One of our students put on quite the display following the annual College Conference talent show. They were playing music over the loud speakers, trying to clue people in that it was time to leave Anderson Auditorium, but this student (along with many others) wasn’t having any of it. So what broke out was a sort of impromptu dance party, with this student at the very center of the show. The energy from that carried over into our nightly group gathering in Assembly Inn, where our students were dancing and playing and having a good time.

I guess the reason I’ll remember that night is because, as I looked around the room, I saw a group of folks who had experienced a number of ups and downs. For some of them, I can imagine that faith in a loving God might be far-fetched considering what they’d been through. Yet, as they danced and played along that night, I sensed something of resurrection, of rising from the ashes to something more hopeful. Which, as it turns out, is what the conference was all about: living into this outrageous, beautiful faith of ours in unexplainable, wonderful ways… even if it means dancing as if no one were watching.

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~ by presbytide on January 25, 2013.

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