Lord of the Dance

I danced in the morning when the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth,
At Bethlehem I had my birth.

As a teenager and as a teacher I didn’t like this song…

Life’s a journey, a race, a voyage, a battle. Why not a dance? Dance speaks of joy, energy, skill, celebration, creativity… Dancing to the rhythm of life, listening to the music of life, keeping in step with others, expressing feelings and emotions….

The theology? Here Jesus is present with God in creation and comes from heaven to earth… pretty standard!

I danced for the scribe and the Pharisee,
But they would not dance and they wouldn’t follow me.
I danced for the fishermen for James and John –
They came with me and the Dance went on.

Jesus is ‘Lord of the Dance’ – creator, choreographer and dance leader. He invites others to join him. Scribes and Pharisees won’t dance, fishermen will.

I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black –
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back.
They buried my body and they thought I’d gone,
But I am the Dance and I still go on.

Jesus’ personal dance includes the darkness of death and burial. ‘They’ thought his dance had ended, but his dance continues through death to resurrection. The dance never dies.

The Lord of the Dance invites us to join him. We dance as he danced. He leads us step by step in our life’s dance, promising, ‘I’ll live in you if you live in me’.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he.

*****************

…The whole ‘Lord of the dance’

I danced in the morning when the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth,
At Bethlehem I had my birth.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he.

I danced for the scribe and the Pharisee,
But they would not dance and they wouldn’t follow me.
I danced for the fishermen for James and John –
They came with me and the Dance went on.

I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame;
The holy people said it was a shame.
They whipped and they stripped and they hung me on high,
And they left me there on a Cross to die.

I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black –
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back.
They buried my body and they thought I’d gone,
But I am the Dance and I still go on.

They cut me down and I leapt up high;
I am the life that’ll never, never die;
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me –
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.

Sydney Carter 1963

4 thoughts on “Lord of the Dance

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