Who Cares?
Rend the Heavens and Have Thine Own Way

May I Have This Dance?

May i have this dance

Maybe the dancers "get it" more than some of the rest of us who contemplate and pontificate.

God is inviting us to a dance and whether or not we are skilled or talented, we can join in and, as we do, He will teach us the steps.

After listening to Peter, Paul, and Mary singing, "Don't let the Light Go Out" in honor of Chanukah, which as I write this, is in a week, I was thinking about light and oil and miracles and how we gravitate toward celebration in singing, dance, and giving.


Every spark, every glimmer, every ray of light in my life has been a miracle and a gift from God.

In my tradition and faith, we celebrate Advent and Christmas. Though they are different and unique events from Chanukah, I have always appreciated that they come at close to the same time each year.

What is this human urge to celebrate with light and laughter and generosity of spirit?

There is gravity and solemnity in much of what we do religiously, but there is also celebration and joy.

Religions are different. If I were not convinced that God had spoken and visited us in Jesus, I would be something other than a Jesus follower. I state my beliefs, humbly, as truth because I am convinced of their truth. I don't apologize for that and never expect my friends who are convinced of their beliefs to apologize for them either.

However, my conviction that I am settled on Jesus does not negate the common elements of our experience. They are present because truth is universal and because the God who fashioned us in His image is always reaching out to us and touching that something in us that makes us want to stand up and dance.

We are made for something more, something "Other," something eternal. All of us! We are all created by and for God and with a deep urge to embrace what Nehemiah called, "The joy of the Lord," and described as "your strength."

The oil in the temple was just not in ample supply for the days of dedication when the first candle was lit. Yet, there kept being enough ... enough for each day. The description of the event was and remains, "A great miracle happened there."

Our lives are miracles. The oil of joy, healing, and anointing for significance does not seem to be ample for the demands we face. Yet, each day, if we will light the candle in faith and celebration, there seems to be just enough ... and enough ... and enough for each day.

And our hearts desire is to celebrate, to give gifts, to light candles, to be charitable and jolly and gracious.

This is a God-connector. It is a sign. It is a message through us and back to us that we are loved, have been visited by the God who made us, and are invited to join the song and the dance of time and eternity.

Jesus said, "seek and ye shall find." It is an open invitation to keep our hearts open to the One who loves us. Joy, grace, giving, and gratitude are all different facets of the same diamond in my faith and language in which it was expressed.

I am not a "Dancing With the Stars" fanatic like most of America and my own household, but I do "get it." We are made to sing and to dance. It is intrinsic and one of the ways God woos us.

Back to my own faith. There were Magi in the story of Jesus' coming. They did not practice the same faith as Jesus' family or my traditions. In fact, we might find some of their beliefs at real odds with our own - like astrology for instance. But they most likely lived in a place where the influence of the Jews had been strong and they were acquainted with Jewish scripture.

They longed for the divine moment and the appearing of One who would be worthy of their worship. The scriptures I embrace say that the Eternal One crossed the barriers of race and religion and drew them to the place where they could see and do what they longed to see and do.

There is this longing we share.

We can wish each other well in this common quest and encourage the seeking. If I believe my Master, and I do, seekers find. Those who knock get doors opened. Those who ask, receive.

Why do we share some common experiences when we have such differing beliefs? Without arguing for one universal religion or watering anything down, I can say with confidence that there really is only One God and whether we describe Him correctly or incorrectly or somewhere between, that God is always reaching out to all of us to supply the oil and light the candles within us,.

To the extent that we respond to that, it ignites something within us that wants more and more and more.

So, let's dance! As you dance, you might just learn the steps and get to know the Choreographer!