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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Byers

Victory Dance

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

I spent three delightful but damp years of my childhood from ages 5 to 8 on the west coast of Scotland. Very quickly my older brother and I picked up the Scottish brogue in our local elementary school and learned to love hot tea with scones and jam (sigh). In our little school I learned to dance and to embroider and these six decades later still cherish a little sewing bag I carefully stitched. One of my favorite memories besides hiking to the shore or the old water mill was wearing a kilt and dancing, especially the sword dance and the iconic Scottish fling that we learned for school performances.

There are different legends about these dances but the one I love is about victory.

Old chieftains of the Scottish Highlands used the fling to test a warrior’s strength, skill, agility and stamina. It was performed on a small round battle shield with sharp projecting spikes so care and agility were essential. This was danced either before or after a battle, but if danced before, was a declaration of the victory just ahead.

The sword dance, an ancient dance of war, was performed after a battle and seems to originate from the time of a celtic prince in 1054. After Malcolm Canmore killed his enemy, he triumphantly crossed his own bloody sword in an x shape over the sword of his foe and celebrated by dancing in between the quarters and around the swords. The steps to both these dances are precise, complicated and vigorous!

In addition, a kilt is worn as a declaration of freedom. This dates to political protests in the 1700s when the wearing of kilts was outlawed and trousers were enforced for men. Since these dances are quick and lively and trousers would only impede.

What a picture of the Christian life where we are promised an overcoming life because God “always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place,” including every battle (2 Cor. 2:14). How is this possible? Because he “disarmed rulers and authorities…triumphing over them by the cross” (Col. 2:15) He has gone before us and claimed the victory, then tells us that it is ours by faith. John declared: “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith” (I Jn. 5:4).

Ahead of time, we are dancing our fling, confident with the expectation that the victory is ours because He has promised it. We will prevail, for He has prevailed as our dread warrior. And after, we are able to dance over the defeated sword of the enemy. David who as a young shepherd experienced this very thing: he slew Goliath and with Goliath’s own sword cut off the head of his enemy.

Where do you need to step by faith into his victory today? Sometimes dancing is the best thing you can do, knowing “the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory! (Deut. 20:4)

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