Marti and I attended a Los Angeles Angels vs. Houston Astros baseball game last night from a different perspective — at least different for me — from Suite 42 on the club level; the Charles Schwab Suite. We were the guests of a Charles Schwab representative whom I had met over 45 years ago when he was Director of Student Ministries at Azusa Pacific University, a position he held before eventually taking his current job at Charles Schwab. He had heard about me from a mutual friend of ours and wanted to see me after all these years and tell me how much he had been impacted by the event where we first met. It was a conference for chaplains of Christian colleges nationwide, and apparently one of the things I did was lead some music during a communion service. And as memory would have it — at least his memory — I got a number of the chaplains up and dancing around the communion table.
I barely remember this. The song would have undoubtedly been “The Lord of the Dance,” and I can imagine I got whoever wanted to join me up and dancing in a line, serpentining around the room and around the communion table. “‘Dance, dance, 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.”
Our host for the Schwab Suite (try and say that 10 times real fast!), Cliff Briggs, says he didn’t get up. His feet were like lead. He wanted to, but his tradition kept him glued to his seat. He does say, however, that the experience changed his perspective forever. Being raised Episcopalian, he says his usual worship experience in church was always vertical — he and God — which is all well and good, but this experience opened his eyes to the community of worship around the Lord’s Supper, and his worship experience has never been the same since. Today, I have no doubt that given a similar opportunity, Cliff would get up and dance.
That’s what Jesus brought us when He took on blood and skin. He became human, and heaven and earth joined. Spirit and body became one, and flesh and blood danced.
“We played the flute for you, and you did not dance … ” Matthew 11:17