Dare to Dance Again

Easter is a time of mixed emotions as we dare to hope in the strides we have taken to be restored from this pandemic. But the celebration can be somewhat dampened by all that we have been through in the last year. Our Gospel story tells us that bad news seemed to have been raining down on the disciples as they watched their Beloved Teacher succumb to death on a cross. We’ve had our share of bad news as well. As Easter people, we know the rest of the story. “The sun’s in my heart and I’m ready for love.” sang Gene Kelly as he danced in the rain. Nothing could “dampen” his spirit. Indeed, it is daring to dance when pain still exists in the world. And yet, like the “Jerusalema” dance craze that has lifted so many hearts in the pandemic, (check it out on YouTube), when we dare to dance together despite the pain, we proclaim our readiness, courage, and celebration of the love that has, and will, get us through.

On Easter Sunday, and the rest of the Easter season, our worship will include post-resurrection stories which point to the joy of living in the beloved community and extending that fellowship through our witness as we dare to dance again!

Our sanctuary will be decorated with the raindrops we made to represent our current struggles, and colorful umbrellas to symbolize God’s protection. Together, they remind us that we are called to dance our dances of freedom for all the world to see–even and perhaps especially in times of great difficulty.  During this season, we will dare to dance again!

But wait, there’s more!

Our musicians, Rueck, Joel, the Evangelical Choir, Band of Praise, and the Evangelical Chimes have done a phenomenal job performing live music and recording their voices for use in worship. They deserve our thanks. The good news, now, is that with signs of continued improvement in conquering Covid, we have invited them to sing live in worship. Beginning Easter Sunday, a combined Band of Praise and Evangelical Choir will be performing music for us live. There will still be some pre-recorded music, but the plan is for them to sing. Yes, they’ll have masks on and, unfortunately the congregation is asked to refrain from singing out loud. You may hum, mouth, or speak the words. Still, that’s another reason to dare to dance again!

We read in Ezekiel 37:5, “Thus says God to these bones ‘I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.’”                                                                                                 

there I am

in Ezekiel’s valley,

one heap among many,

just another stack

of old, dry bones.

some Mondays

feel this way,

and Tuesdays, too,

to say nothing of

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

lost dreams

and forgotten pleasures,

sold like a soul

to a gluttonous world

feeding on my frenzy

and anxious activity.

but just when

the old heap of bones

seems most dry

and deserted,

a strong Breath of Life

stirs among my dead.

Someone named God

comes to my fragments

and asks, with twinkling eye:

“May I have this dance?”

the Voice stretches into me,

a stirring leaps in my heart,

lifting up the bones of death.

then I offer my waiting self

to the One who’s never stopped

believing in me,

and the dance begins.

---Joyce Rupp

Shall we dance?