I’d be willing to bet that Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, could hit the dance floor with the best of them. What are the chances that the son of God, incarnate for the sake of all humanity, but otherwise sinless in nature, wouldn’t have a few clutch dance moves in his repertoire? If his tunic had sleeves, you can bet that Christ had some reserve dance moves up them.
We know that when Mary visited Elizabeth, “the infant leapt in her womb leapt for joy” (Luke 1:41). Right there – undeniable proof that John the Baptist could dance. And if he came to prepare the way for Christ, who are we to say that Christ didn’t perfect what John began?
Jesus Christ: Savior of mankind, Son of God, Alpha and Omega, Covert dancer.
Here’s something that I always struggled to understand – how does an athlete’s success ever glorify God? It’s such a simple question, but it’s entirely worth asking, given that every Franciscan athlete can attest to frequency by which pre or post-game prayers include some iteration of the phrase “Help us to glorify you with our competition.”
And there was honestly a time when I considered whether or not our all-loving God treed those prayers with a chuckle and a dismissal, because isn’t it impossible to glorify an all-powerful God with a soccer ball, a tennis racket or a three-pointer?
Of course it isn’t.
Because Christ could dance.
Christ’s incarnation on earth gave a face to a God previously faceless in nature, and the fact that Christ looked and acted as human has everything to do with the fact that we are made in the very image of the God we worship. And what better way to glorify the image of a Creator than by pushing his created bodies to the limits they were created to meet? Why walk when you can dance?
Reaching the very limit of mankind’s athletic capacity brings a joy experienced exclusively by those who have put to correct use the virtues of discipline, self-denial and practical repetition in order to employ to its fullest extent a body made for prowess, for “life in abundance” (John 10:10).
The connection between an athlete’s inexplicable desire to succeed in the field of play and the organic capacity of those desires to glorify God, even unbeknownst to the athlete himself, is dancing God, a God who rejoices when sinners repent, a God who runs to meet the prodigal, a God before whom David danced in the Ark of the Covenant.
There’s joy in the dance, the competition, the victory, the loss and the self-improvement, in the glorification of Christ through the proper use of bodies given and meant to reflect the glory of their Creator.
I’m convinced of it. Christ could groove with the best of them. You’d expect nothing less from the Lord of the Dance.