“Are you dancing?”… “Are you asking?”
People have always loved to dance; we have probably been doing it from the time that our first ancestors managed to stand up! We do it to express ourselves when words are not enough to express our joy, love, and exuberance. Sometimes, even if we are normally reserved and shy, an unexpected piece of good news or a final whistle at a football match will have us jumping up and down for joy. We are caught up in the moment, we forget ourselves and we dance.
Today is Gaudete Sunday – the pink candle is lit on our Advent wreath and we anticipate the joy ahead. In the first reading the poetic imagination of the prophet Zephaniah goes into overdrive as he imagines God’s joy in his people spilling over into dance! We, who are used to reverential language about God – expressed with concepts like almighty, omnipresent, all-knowing, enthroned in the heavens – can find it hard to stay awhile with a dancing God. So, that’s our challenge for today. Can we allow ourselves to imagine God’s joy in us brimming over into a wildly enthusiastic dance! Maybe this was what Botticelli, the renaissance artist, was doing when he painted his Mystic Nativity!
Are you dancing? It’s God who is asking!