Sacramental Sounds

Me in my Southern Baptist days.

Me in my Southern Baptist days.

I love music and the spiritual insight that music can provide. I still love many of the songs from my Southern Baptist days - despite leaving most of my ideas from that time behind. 

This is one of them.


He had me by the opening line.

On the banks of the Tennessee River
In a small Kentucky town


I knew that river and that town. Steven Curtis Chapman was born and raised in my hometown of Paducah, Kentucky. There is something special about a song that begins with your own geography.

However, that is not why I love this song. From the song’s quiet beginning on the banks of the Tennessee, the song’s tempo and fervency increases. It builds into an energetic and enthusiastic testimony to a faith and God that makes you DANCE. A God that himself dances. 

The world beneath us spins in circles
And this life makes us twist and turn and sway
But we were made for more than rhythm with no reason
By the one who moves with passion and with grace
As He dances over all that He has made


There’s only one problem. I was a Southern Baptist (at the time) and we didn’t dance and we certainly didn’t dance to songs about God. 

At this time in my life, faith was a heavy thing - a burdensome theology of sin and failing and fear. 

The soaring and joyful sound of Steven Curtis Chapman’s Lord of the Dance reminded me that faith didn’t have to be so heavy. Faith didn’t have to weigh you down. Faith could leave you light and full of movement.

Faith could make you dance.