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Does God dance?
The Lord of the Dance: God is perfect unity
The ancient church fathers thought so. The word they used for the divine dance of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit was perichoresis. Think of “peri” like perimeter; it means “around.” “Choresis,” as in choreography, means to dance. Perichoresis is a way to say that the Father, Son and Spirit are eternally dancing around together in a beautifully choreographed dance of love, of unity, and of joy. Andrej Rublev’s painting is said to depict this divine dance of unity.
The Living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is by His nature a relational God
God is by His nature relational. I think that God’s intent in revealing Himself to us as the Triune God, one God in three Persons, is to make us pause in wonder and awe at the unity of the Three in One. I always taught my confirmation classes “Don’t try to figure out the nature of the Holy Trinity. Just be amazed at the beauty of the mystery and worship our amazing Lord. Marvel at the mystery! Rejoice in the beauty! God is One! That’s wonder-full!”
In His final hours with His disciples, Jesus offered many warnings about the trials they would experience, the dangers they would face and the assaults of the enemy that would always plague them. So what was His prayer for them? Unity (see John 17). That’s Relational Wellbeing, in a word: Unity. United in trust, respect and love, they would survive in spite of danger and even thrive!
And when our relationships are strong, when we are “dancing around” in the dance of love and joy with our families, our fellow church members and our partners in ministry, nothing can stop us.
Jesus has united us as One because we are all united to Him!
Unity in the Church is a gift of God. It’s who we are as the Body of Christ, joined together with Jesus as our Head. Some of you who read this I know very well. Some of you I’ve met and we’ve broken bread at the altar and at the dinner table. Some of you I have not yet met. But all of us are united as one in Christ. Unity is a gift of God to His people, the Church.
The model of the Lutheran Wellness Wheel serves as an excellent guide as we strive to live in the unity God has given. It begins with Baptismal Wellbeing, dying to the old self, the “ME” and rising again to the unity we have in Christ, His “WE.” Our Spiritual Wellbeing is simply gathering around Word and Sacrament that God might work that oneness in us, continually growing us to become His Church as we leave self behind and live for Him.
Intellectually, we strive to know one another better. Emotionally we turn to God for forgiveness and healing in our relationships. Vocationally we serve side by side, partners in all we do.
That’s unity. That’s relational wellbeing. That’s learning to dance.
How might you join in the dance of unity today at your home? At church? With your partners in ministry?
Thanks for reading.
Darrell Zimmerman, VP/Program Director
Do you serve in a multiple staff setting in a church, Lutheran school, university or social service ministry? Discover how a Ministry Team Wellness Workshop can help enhance your team ministry by building the unity, spiritual life and communication essential to partnership in ministry. Contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman for more information.