This season of Easter we must acknowledge that we are in a both/and feeling of sorrow and hope that will be so acute for this 2021 year. Our faith invites us to the feast in this “already and not yet” kin-dom. We do not wait to proclaim hope, to set the feast, to feed the world, to dare to dance for freedom and justice, even as we mourn our losses. We preach resurrection at funerals because that is the moment we most need to hear it. Not just for the dead but for the living to keep on resurrecting our own lives here and now.
Dr. Marcia McFee writes: “The Easter season is a time for “coming out of the tombs.” In a year like we have had in 2020-2021, the tombs of death, economic loss, grief, and unrest are obvious. Yet some tombs we need to emerge from are of our own making and we ask ourselves, ‘what holds us back from claiming our freedom to really LIVE and to dance our dances fully?’ No matter what confines us, the Easter message is one that offers the courage for new starts.”
You will be seeing lots of umbrella’s as we move through the Easter season. They will be our anchor image. Gene Kelly sang, ‘the sun’s in my heart and I’m ready for love,” as he danced in the rain. Nothing could dampen his spirit. It is daring to dance when pain still exists in the world.
Umbrellas “cover” us and we can imagine that this is God’s love, grace, presence “covering” us as we continue to move through this time of recovery from a devastating pandemic. They also offer us a chance to joyfully move about–dance with freedom, even in the rain.
There is a freedom in dancing…well, at least the freedom to dance when no one is watching! Our theme in this Easter season is “Dare to Dance Again.” You don’t have to be an accomplished dancer. Each of us has our own “groove.” What’s yours? Head bobbing? Hip swinging? Slide? Shuffle? You just have to move your body in any way you wish.
“Dancing” doesn’t have to be taken literally–it also means anyone who creates energy and movement toward making life better. It’s about moving from darkness to light, despair to hope, death to resurrection grief to joy. When we dare to dance together in spite of the pain, we proclaim our readiness, courage, and celebration of the love that has, and will, get us through. Later in our series I will introduce you to the “Jerusalema” dance craze that has brought joy to so many hearts in this pandemic.
As Easter people, we are called to dance our dances of freedom for all the world to see—even and perhaps especially in times of great difficulty. Dances of hope. Dances of justice. Dances of love. During this season, post-resurrection stories point to the joy of living in the beloved community and extending that fellowship through our witness as we dare to dance again!
On a morning when all seemed lost, a stone had rolled away to uncover an empty tomb. It uncovered a feast of all feasts, the joy of all joys. The shroud of death had become a veil for gladness, for celebration, for dancing. What if we stopped trying to outrun one another in a race for things that do not matter in the end, and instead ran toward life, hope and all the joy we can accomplish together, daring to dance again?