Sundays Meet in the Middle: Dance

Anytime I put a sermon together, there is a TON of stuff that goes unsaid.

I remember in the early days before I was a pastor, starting out on a message weeks ahead of time and by the time I got done writing, I had enough for two or three sermons, then having to go back and remove things to try to get it into a reasonably-lengthed version... You know, something people could sit through listening instead of looking at their watch at the 25 minute mark and wonder, "Why is she still talking?"

But hours and hours... and hours... would go into preparing those.

Now that I'm full-time clergy and preaching every week, I have gotten waaay better about staying within some boundaries as I write. Not chasing ALL the ideas that come to mind. But they still pop up. Sparkly things. Sad things. Thought-provoking things. But things that go in too many directions. I can see where some of those side items will end up here. :-)

This past week, we looked at the parable that included the servant who buried the money his master gave him, and then was sent into utter darkness, because he was afraid to take a risk with what he had been given (Matt 25:24-30). He was stuck. One of the thoughts that popped into my head that I didn't articulate was how those of us who are too afraid to take risks with the blessings that God has given us, are already experiencing darkness. We are stuck in the dark.

Think about the truly gifted people who go on the different talent shows we may watch on TV, or see pop up on our phones... The vocalists, the dancers. They shine light. When they have recognized their gift and are brave enough to share it with the world, they are changed... The viewer is also changed. We all get unstuck, if even for a moment, when we recognize the gift is shared.

Bob Goff, in his 2019 devotional book, "Live in Grace. Walk in Love." compared it in a recent passage (#262 to be exact) to being benched... When you have a dream and are sitting on the bench, you have a lot of time to think about how maybe you aren't that good. Dwelling on the negative can sometimes be part of that experience of not sharing your God-given gift.

Having seen some of the coaches my kids had in baseball, I know that there's a lot of talent on the bench... Sometimes there's a ton of talent, maybe even more than is on the field. Coaches have different reasons for keeping kids on the bench.

God is not like the baseball coach. God doesn't want any of us on the bench, in the dugout on the sidelines, etc. None of us. He wants us ALL to be participating in the game, moving in this life dance! He wants us all to get unstuck.

God wants us out there, meeting people (introverts can do it slowly, one at a time), living out the gifts God has given us, shining light like a disco ball on the gifts we see in others and pointing to God all the while. God want us to both honor we are part of a team, and be brave in how we participate... Remembering we are equally valued by God.

We are already in the dark when we decide not to participate. Not to honor the gifts God has given us, may eventually make us think we were not all that talented anyway... But if we are thinking that, who are we really listening to? It's not the light. It's not God. Let's not listen to the voice of doubt over dream.

Let's get out of the dark, get off the bench. Let's dance.

Photo by Juan Camilo Navia on Unsplash

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