Tiny Dancer

Praise the Lord!

Sing to the Lord a new song,
    his praise in the assembly of his faithful people.

Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
    let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
Let them praise his name with dancing
    and make music to him with timbrel and harp.         -Psalm 149:1-3

My congregation  is mostly elderly but has a couple of young families with children. One of the children, Peyton, is high energy and sometimes a challenge to keep interested in what’s happening in church. She’s just one of those kids who seems to need to move all the time!

Lately, her mom has been singing in the choir, and I’ve noticed that when they are practicing on Sunday morning or singing the anthem during worship, Peyton just loves to move with the music. The choir practices in the sanctuary on Sunday morning, and Peyton will climb the steps to the chancel and dance around, moving in time to the music. Today I had put down an alphabet mat to help us with keeping still during the children’s time, and Peyton used it to dance on  while the choir was singing. No choreography or special movements, just joyfully moving the way she felt the music call her to move. What a wonderful way to express the joy she felt while hearing our choir sing– to me it is the essence of liturgical dance. She was expressing herself to the music and expressing the joy she felt in hearing it.

We don’t always have to sit still and quiet in church– even us Presbyterians! Often the music makes me want to dance as well, and I often sway to the music as we sing. We try to have quiet moments too, which gives us a chance to reflect, to pray and to feel the presence of God with us in worship. But sometimes it is good to move! And I’m so glad that Peyton can express her joy in this way.

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