Lord of the Dance
Birthdays are so incredibly important. Not so much for the person celebrating another year. I didn’t know how exciting birthdays were until Nicholas’s birthday, and then Elizabeth’s birthday. The days on which they entered our world. We were so excited to welcome them! Dancing days! Days that marked the beginning of a life – the beginning of a purpose that God imagined and brought to life in them. The anthem that the choir will sing this morning is about Jesus’ thoughts as he prepared to be born. “Tomorrow shall be my dancing day – to call my true love to the dance.”
I recently read a parable about twins waiting to be born. One asked the other: ‘Do you believe in life after delivery?’
The other replied, ‘Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.’
‘Nonsense’ said the first. ‘There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?’
The second said, ‘I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.’
The first replied, ‘That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.’
The second insisted, ‘Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.’
The first replied, ‘Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.’
‘Well, I don’t know,’ said the second, ‘but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.’
The first replied ‘Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?’
The second said, ‘She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist.’
Said the first: ‘Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.’
To which the second replied, ‘Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.’”
Before we enter this world, we know nothing about it. Paul tells us that before we were even born, we were chosen by God for a purpose of God’s will so that our lives might be for the praise of God’s glory. Our very lives are for praise – for dancing.
Jesus took fleshly substance – lived as one of us – to call us to the dance, and when we believed we were marked with a seal. In Old Testament times a seal was used on letters to guarantee who they were from, and seals were also used on packages or crates to guarantee the sender and also that they were intact, just as they should be. The seal were are marked with is the Holy Spirit, guaranteeing our inheritance.
Our inheritance of what? We find ourselves like those twins in utero. We don’t know exactly. We know that God’s Kingdom is coming. We know that Christ is returning.
Paul describes it as “the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of God’s glory.”
Daniel says, “the holy people of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.”
John in his Revelation sees, “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
“they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
will shelter them with his presence.
16 ‘Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne
will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”
How and when is God’s Kingdom coming? What will it look like? It is a mystery. We know that it is present and not yet. We know that God’s Will will fully be done on heaven and earth. We know that God is with us and for us in this life and the next, inviting us to the dance. We have nothing to fear in this life or the next. Tomorrow shall be our dancing day.