Look Where Spirits Dance, The Old Are Young, And Children Sing

So, in this extraordinary day and time

where can we look for Jesus? …That’s what we’ve been askin’

ever since Christmas.

Here’s a thought. Look where spirits dance. ‘And the old are young. ‘And children sing. Surely here is where Jesus can be found. But it’s not so easy, to tell the truth. We are not so easily given over to unreserved joy, genuine trust, or real renewal. If you doubt that watch the news. The same folks that sit together one day seemingly can’t stand each other the next. And that’s not just in Congress or the Pa. state legislature. Nope. It’s true in our own houses. We needn’t be surprised then, when praise is hard to offer here at church and worship seems a wish-not-quite-fulfilled.  God bless the soul who shared these words with me. “Some say that God LIVES in our praises. But I feel self conscious. Even at CWS. How can I get outside of myself and get more into God and what God’s doing?”

Here’s my suggestion. Ask your grandpa! Jesus mighta. He surely coulda. He coulda turned to his Grandpa David (several times removed). David the no account son of Jesse. The last one anybody ever expected to make good. David: the sorta dreamy singin’ shepherd. (We’re STILL singin’ his Psalms.) David the warrior, David the King. Dear old Grandpa David, who spent as much time in his life “on the lamb” as “tending the sheep.” SINNER David. SACRED David. Most anything we’ve been through or are going through, David’s been there, done that. ‘True for Jesus, too, right up to the foot of the cross. AND YET… in spite of everything (or because of if it)… David DANCED. On the altar. He’d been up against it with his own and dearest, struggled with the Philistines, and was winning his northern cousins. He’d seen the Ark bring life and death. But now, now he looked on all of it, felt God near, and completely let himself go. ‘Gave his heart away. ‘Felt no need to be in charge or control. Danced. ‘Danced like there was no tomorrow because he could see God already ahead of him, tending to his needs, his soul and his peoples’. The joy was catching. Israel would come to dance like David. It’s… contagious!

“How can I get outside of myself and get more into God and what God’s doing?” Take these lessons from Grandpa David. Take the time to look at how God has been in the sweep of your struggles, written your successes. Draw apart. Meditate. Pray. Listen. (Long.) Yield. AND THEN put yourself in the company of those who are hope-focused (like David) and just let yourself go! ‘Ever notice how tough it is to let someone clap alone. It’s our instinct to join in. Applause results. That’s a big part of what we do for each other here and why it’s so important to be present, one and all. You help someone else to clap for God. Join in, and God gets our applause. Applaud and dancing is bound to break out. We let go; we let God!

If you wanna find Jesus, try looking where the old are made young. ‘Where folks are in the habit of baring their soul, not just bearing the burdens of the day. I so love the Gospels for their stories of Jesus. And wouldn’t you know it, ‘specially the week we signed the construction loan for our Welcome Ctr., I love the story of the widow giving her 2 1/2 pennies. (Her last?) What I like is how she goes away. Whereas the soul who views giving an expense goes away burdened, the one that counts it a blessing goes away blessed. (IT’S STILL TRUE) The dear soul’s a widow, this giver. ‘Likely old(er), on the brink w/out money or her man. (Disaster in those days!) But her hope is renewed when she trusts enough to entrust herself to God’s care. THAT means more than her meager means. ‘Love it! Best of all. I love that Jesus is watching. He wants to see what lifts us as well as lifts God. Here’s what he sees. Invest ourselves in something bigger, we go away less bent by the burdens. Trust we’re not alone and we don’t feel that way. Give up looking-out-for-ourselves, and we encounter God looking out for us. The results: weight off our shoulders, years off our life, wonder from our lips. God is in Christ, reconciling us to God! We have 3 souls here (T. L. C.) None can stand unaided. Yet 1 can’t help but sing. One says, “I want to keep on, because I want to keep on giving (e.g. Tmas crèche).” 1 inspires everyone who helps her. All say, “I went to help her, but she helped me so much more.” ‘Lookin’ for Jesus, are you? Look where the old are made young. Where faith is a leg to stand on and God’s is a love to lean on.

One last thing. Do look for Christ where you hear the sounds of singing. Especially from the children! Witness our time together today. Always, when my heart is seeking, I head for the sounds of children and songs. Whenever I do, the Palm Sunday image flashes its light. I overhear the folks who complain, “It looks like the whole world is running after Jesus.” Many were on little legs! Jesus was commanded, “Rabbi, silence your disciples.” His response, “Then even the rocks would sing!” Surely, surely, we can do as well. And should we doubt, the little ones will lead us.

Many of us want an answer to what my friend wrote months ago. “How can I get outside of myself and get more into God?” And again, “How do I not let distractions in my day change what is important for my soul?” And then this more colorful reserve. “Do I really have to dance naked, give my last dime, or join the Jesus Frenzy?” Well… let me put it this way. Scripture does guide us. Maybe we needn’t dance on the altar quite like David. But hears a lasting lesson. We do well to place ourselves in the company and spell… of praise that’s unreserved. Praise for God in Jesus Christ. (A bugaloo may not be needed… but don’t be surprised if you can’t help swayin’ to the music and your hands and feet cannot be still.) I can’t speak for your last dime. But in your purse and by your pulse, know this trust this, be renewed by this. Here’s the lesson of the hour. You can’t out give or outdo God. By the sign of the cross, he promises that blessings get the best of burdens. Put yourself beside those whose praise is unreserved and heart is hope-focused. I’d say, “Stick close to the little ones.” Jesus did, to the last week of his life. It’s a good lesson. In few better places can you look for Jesus in your life.

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