Monday, November 24, 2014

A Gift and a Dance

As I reflected on Thanksgiving I thought about a conversation I overheard at one of the fellowship tables at the Community Thanksgiving Service.  A couple was asked why they moved to Abbeville from their previous location.  They gave a simple answer ... peace.  I knew the people and know they are very involved in many community activities.  They work hard in  their church and they are generous in their giving of time and energy and talents.  Many of you would not call that peace.  But I agree with them ... this community called Abbeville is a bit of peace in a world full of turmoil and conflict.  The passage I shared at the Community Thanksgiving Service was from Psalm 133.  It basically says that God (and we) are blessed when we live together in harmony.  This could be called "hard-won" peace, because peace, harmony, love and fellowship is a dance anointed by God. The old Shaker Hymn (which was also a call to dance) is, I believe, a musical gift reminding us of the gift that is life.  This dance reminds us that simplicity, freedom and "coming round right" are all wonderful gifts from God as we join in God's dance.  Do you hear the movement, structure and motion in this dance tune (yes, Christians dance)?  Do you grasp that dancing is structured and patterned turning till we "come round" to the right place in the dance ... our place?  Do you see that life is a turning around (the Bible call this repenting) till we come around to the place in the dance God has created for us?  To this end I wish you joyful dancing and the ability to find peace in this place of simplicity and freedom ... tis a gift from God!
Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come 'round right

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