Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dancing with God

A visitor at one of our worship services this morning blew me away with her comments about the sermon. I had just I preached about dancing with God. The sermon used the metaphor of dance to describe the relationship God desires with us. Part of my emphasis was to provide a balance to the popular “purpose-driven” attitude toward life. I said, “God doesn’t need us to achieve anything with all our purposeful behavior, but God did create us for relationship. One way to look at it is to say, God wants to dance the divine dance of creation, life, love, and joy with us.”

My closing illustration was one borrowed from Max Lucado, who tells of a man who bought a book about dancing so he could impress his wife. He worked on the steps and then invited her into the room to see what he’d learned. She watched as he held the book, reading aloud each instruction, and mimicking them with his movements. When he finished, she just looked at him. Instead of affirming him she said, “You’re missing something critical.”

She took the book from him, put some music on, took his hands in hers, and encouraged him to sway to the music with her. Soon they began to move about the room together, not counting steps, but dancing. I encouraged the congregation to begin to sway to the rhythm of God’s Spirit, who transforms our own labored lives into a movement of love.

The visitor spoke to me with a beautiful British accent and told me she loved the sermon. “My husband was a professional dancer,” she said. “I didn’t dance, but he insisted on teaching me. But, I would only dance with him. When he was sick, he would still look at me and say, ‘Dance with me.’ So I would help him into his wheelchair and I’d take his hands and we would dance around the room.” She paused, and finished, “Thank you, that was a most wonderful sermon.”

As strange as it may seem, there is a time to learn your sermon was meant for the stranger passing through, and a time to find healing in remembrance - there is a time to mourn, and a time to dance.


Jonathan said...

Interesting! As you can see from my blog, I also preached about dancing. Grace and peace to all of my friends in Sumter!

Lauren said...

thanks for the monday morning tears, dad! beautiful!