Dance Party Lesson Four: Interpretive Line Dancing

Thursday, September 08, 2011 Posted by Katie

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The thing about Christianity is that we can’t decide if we’re line dancers or interpretive dancers. Are we all supposed to do the same movements to the tune we hear? C’mon, you know that’s totally fun sometimes…the stomping, the sliding, the boots, the fringe?? (Wow, I really have moved to Texas, haven’t I?) OR are we supposed to uniquely interpret the tune we hear and respond with our own free-form movements?

What if it’s a little bit of both?

Take, for example, the little dance Noah and I shared as I tried to teach him about the cross. Explaining crucifixion to a three-year-old is somewhat out of the question. So at this point, our lesson is about symbols and what they remind you of. Noah has seen crosses in our house, on jewelry, and in our worship space. And I’m grateful that we have a sanctuary in which Noah can play a game of “I spy” (of sorts) to find the cross in the back of the sanctuary and then watch the acolyte carry it to the front to begin the service. The symbol of a cross is quite a familiar one in Noah’s life.

So one day I grabbed an opportunity to begin explaining the cross to him. A “Cross 101” course, if you will. I pointed to the silver cross on my necklace and said to him, “Noah, this is called a cross. Can you say ‘cross’?” Check.It’s there to remind you that Jesus loves you…that Jesus loves Noah. Can you say, ‘Jesus loves Noah’?” Double check. Way to dance in line, kiddo!

Then one day, about a week later, Noah reached out and picked up the cross on my necklace. Totally time for a parental quiz, no? We had had a lot of practice over the last few days, so there was no reason to believe that he would answer out of “line”.

Noah, what is the cross there to remind you of?”

I fully expected to hear exactly what I’d been teaching him: “Jesus loves Noah.”

But, as Noah tenderly cradled this little silver symbol in his hands, he looked up at me and answered, “Jesus loves you, Mama.” Then he reached around me with his clumsy toddler arms and gathered me into a hug.

Thanks for reminding me, kid.

Interpretive Line Dancing.

You oughta give it a whirl. (In your own way, of course.)

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