Sunday, May 30, 2021

Learning to dance

Propers for Trinity Sunday

Sermon for Trinity Sunday

Christians all have to learn the dance.

Dancing is all about making the right steps at the right time - or at least it used to be. Contrast the courtly dances of Henry VIII or Jane Austen with how we dance today. What was once a finely choreographed group activity has become very individual. We dance with our own moves regardless to what others are doing, sometimes with acrobatics! We have moved from a group of dancers moving as one to a lot of people doing their own thing. We have lost the ability to participate as a unity.


God, of course, is a unity: one God in three Persons, though even that is a bit of a twist of language. The relationship between the Persons of the Trinity goes by the name of perichoresis which is Greek for "dancing around". The human mind is incapable of understanding the Trinity because the Trinity is not like anything created so, to us, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost dance around in our minds as now we focus on the Trinity and now we focus on the Unity and now the Trinity and now...

Thoughts of God, as He is, jostle around our heads as we try in vain to think of Him. The good news is that He doesn't expect us to think of Him accurately. He wants us to love Him and trust Him. He wants us to learn to dance.


This means we have to listen to His music and learn His steps and that's enough for us to draw close to Him. If the music is a waltz then we have to take God's hand and let Him lead us, being careful to watch where we put our feet. If the music is a pavan then we must dance with God and with others, taking care to imitate the steps and move in time.

The dance of God is not a solo affair that we might find on Tiktok; it involves others and being in tune with them. Just as we see the Trinity dance around each other as One, so we too must dance as one.

When we think of God the Son, we move to God the Father to whom the Son looks in prayer and to Whom He submits His Humanity. When we think of God the Father, we move to God the Holy Ghost as He moves over the face of the waters of Creation. When we think of God the Holy Ghost, we see Him breathed upon the Apostles from the mouth of God the Son. And the dance goes around again. We are carried between the Persons by the dance of Eternity formed by their relationships to each other and yet, there is but One God.


While this might be beyond our understanding, it forms the basis of our dance into the same Eternity. Our dance is with God and with our neighbour and it is borne on our relationships with each other. There will be disruption while we learn the steps; we will have to dance around those who dance only their solitary steps and content themselves with their own music; we will have to dance around those who seek actively to disrupt our steps. Letting God lead means we can dance around all obstacles: we might be ungainly or lumbering but God makes our steps with Him graceful and elegant.


Love is the dance and we must learn it. We might complain of our two left feet but that is not an excuse. God dances in Himself and He wants us to dance with Him.

Will you give Him the pleasure of this dance?

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