I love the fabric section of shops that stock the ribbons, tulle, silk, satin and organza; and being a dancer that would make sense, all dancers do. However, it is more than the costumes that I’m interested in, in fact I’ve never made or designed a dance costume in my life; my interest in this section is directly related to creating banners and ribbons.
Perhaps you have seen them at conferences or in your local church; those great big banners with a painted silk scene, on a long dangerous pole that comes alarmingly close to the light and fan fittings on the ceiling. Why are people waving them and what are they achieving?
Banners were used in Bible times to celebrate victory (Psalm 20:3-5) and when leading a nation into warfare (Jeremiah 51:27). Similarly they seem to be used in a spiritual sense today when celebrating, worshiping, interceding or entering warfare along with other old Testament instruments such as the timbrel and the shofar (ram or goat’s horn), often referred to as a trumpet.
More than simply waving a banner, there needs to be an understanding of what the banner actually represents. Different colours have different Biblical meanings which can be researched, eg red represents Jesus blood, the Holy Spirit and fire, so when a red banner is waved, what is being declared into the spiritual realm is Jesus’ blood and the Holy Spirit’s fire over a situation or into an atmosphere.
Often you see banners with elaborate designs painted on them, rather than a block colour, and these too can have specific meanings that God has shown people in dreams, visions or pictures. On occasions God can lead people to wave these banners over people struggling with certain issues or wrap them around that person. I have noticed that when one particular child in our Sunday School wraps the ‘blood’ banner around herself as a cape, she changes from being quite aggressive and angry to acting obedient and peaceful. In another instance my father-in-law placed a banner over a lady who had a large goitre on her neck, that she was receiving prayer for, and it disappeared in front of him.
A scriptural basis for this would be when Paul prayed over handkerchiefs and sent them out to the sick who were healed. (Acts 19:11-12)
Banners are a very interesting aspect to ministry, and many people whether they are dancers are not, use them to actively engage their body, soul and spirit in worship. My favourite option in this realm, however, are ribbons which I make from satin, silk or organza. These can be made quite simply, by cutting a length of dowel to between 15-20cm and screwing an eyelet into the top with a fishing swivel hooked into it. The material of your choice, after being hemmed can then be threaded onto a keyring and finally onto the fishing swivel, which joins the whole creation together. These make fantastic presents for children, whether or not they dance with them in church, as little girls seem to love floating around the living room to music, waving their ribbon.
For more information on the topic of worshipping with banners and ribbons, visit www.worshipbanners.com.au and www.rainbowthreads.com.au
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