Dancing with the Lord of the Dance (Darlene Eerkes)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
Easter Sunday
10:00 am April 17, 2022
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering  as a Worshipping Community
Led by Darlene Eerkes    Elder: Iris Routledge   Children’s Ministry: Vivian Houg
Music director: Binu Kapadia    Vocalist: Kara Little

We gather to worship God

Music prelude

Discovering the resurrection: Vivian, children, congregation participation

*Song: Christ the Lord is risen today (247)

Greeting
L: Christ is risen
P: He is risen, indeed!

Lighting of the Christ candle

Welcome and announcements

Silent preparation for worship

Opening words
L: This is the day that the Lord has made
P: Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
L: Lift up your hearts!
P: We lift them up to the Lord!

Opening praise: He is Lord       

Prayers of approach and lament

Holy Father, this is indeed the day that you have made.  Today we join with Christian people everywhere in the joyous dance of new life that you have given to us, and to all who will accept your gift of grace.  We can scarcely contain ourselves as we consider in amazement our redemption by the sacrifice of Christ and the new and eternal life that you offer us in his resurrection.  All we need to do is accept what we see and yet can hardly believe.  We may not understand how it is made possible, but we wholeheartedly accept what you so freely offer.  We come before you now in His name.  AMEN

*Song: Jump with joy (406)

Instrumental Special Music (French Horn): Jesus Christ is risen today (243)

We listen for the voice of God

Scripture reading: Psalm 150 (NRSV)

*Song: Make a joyful noise  (congregational parade)

 Scripture readings: John 3:16-21 & John 10:11-18 NT(NRSV)

Response: Glory to the Father

Meditation: Dancing with the Lord of the Dance

Reflection 1 – Praise the Lord with dance

I love lively music and especially music that makes my feet want to move.  I am fascinated when I watch dancers – dance.  If you give me the opportunity and I didn’t feel people were watching me, I would dance to the music.  I feel the beat and I want to move!

There are many kinds of orchestrated dances – and they are beautiful to behold… the Highland dancers of Scotland, the Celtic dancers of Ireland, First Nations dancers at a Pow Wow, the African tribal dances and the dancing in church services that I saw with my friends in Ghana when I visited their churches.  Oh in Ghana they know how to dance…  expressing their praise to God with every movement of their body.  Their church services are places of dancing as they worship God…

Christians have not always known what to do with dancing and in some circles, dancing is looked upon with suspicion – it was this way in my home as I grew up.  However, the theme of dance winds its way through the Scriptures.  Music and dance are often used as a means of worship and praise to God.

After the deliverance of the Israelite people, out of the land of Egypt, Miriam – the sister of Moses and Aaron took a timbrel in her hand and all the women followed her with timbrels and dancing before the Lord.  (Ex 15:20-21).

When the Ark of the Covenant was returned to Jerusalem – King David and all of Israel were singing and was dancing before the LORD with all their might, with the sound of trumpets. King David was “leaping and dancing” before the LORD. (2 Samuel)

In Psalm 149 we are told to Praise God’s name with dancing and make music to God with timbrel and harp. For the LORD takes delight in his people.

The expression of joy to God… by dancing is all over the Psalms, like the scripture reading today. Dancing is a part of worship: Praise the Lord with Dance. Let everything that has life and breath praise the Lord.

Special music: Now the green blade rises (Kara, Vivian, and children)

Reflection 2 – Dance moves

When I was a student in school we learned square dancing in our physical education classes.  And recently, I learned more about this traditional dance. I have learned that square dancing contains aspects from numerous traditional dances that date back to the 16th-century throughout many countries in Europe. These dance moves traveled to North America with the European settlers and have continued to evolve.  Some square dances have attained the status of a folk dances such as may be seen in Irish set dances and Scottish country dances… and even the modern western square dance, which is widely known and danced worldwide.

Dancing can be about a lot of different things.  It might be about passion or discipline or self-expression.  Today I’m thinking there are some lessons for life that might be found in the practiced and choreographed dances like the square dance. Let us take a few minutes to imagine how we might move through life following dance moves?  Dancing in a group of supportive people helps reduce one’s inhibitions. You are a part of a community – part of something larger than yourself. In traditional square dancing there is a Caller – the one who names (calls out) the dance pattern to be danced.  As you move to the music you follow the instructions of the Caller…

In square dancing, as in the dance of life, you can’t dance alone and in fact, you do not even dance with just your partner. You dance in groups of 8 – your square, your little community. Couples 1 and 3, the heads, will go ‘left and right and through’ and switch places while couples 2 and 4, the sides, wait their turn to make their moves. There is this give and take. If someone decides to do their own thing without the caller, the whole square falls apart. It takes teamwork – being a part of a community. You must follow a certain order and pattern and structure to successfully execute the dance.  Although our society often idealizes fierce independence, many other cultures understand the necessity and power of working together in community.  We are in it together.

You also need to learn how to listen. The more you listen, the more you get out of it. It is when you follow the structure, the patterns, and make the most of them, that you start to have fun, that you actually find the freedom of the dance, the joy, the pure delight. It’s that exuberance we heard in Psalm 150 – praise God with trumpet, lute, harp, tambourine, and with dance.  It is also holding together the form, the routine, the regular rhythms of the dance with the spontaneity, the energy, the life, and passion of the dance that makes the magic happen and creates such a tight and strong community. Dancing is done in community.  It is setting aside the self to serve the whole.  There can be freedom within structure.

Could it be, that when we follow the dance patterns that are called by God, that we truly thrive and live fully?

Musical interlude – music dance interlude

Reflection 3 – Lord of the dance

For faithful Christians around the world, Easter Sunday is a day of joy and celebration, of jubilation and thanksgiving and hope as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We sing our alleluias and rejoice, for “Christ the Lord is risen today.”

Friends, Easter isn’t just a day or even just a season in which we celebrate our hope in life. Easter is not a completed act but an ongoing journey, an ongoing dance, if you will. This Dance began when the world was begun… when the Caller of the Dance moved over the waters and called into existence the moon and the stars and the sun.  The Lord of the Dance came down to earth to dance among us.  We (You) are invited into God’s dance – just as Jesus invited the Scribes and the pharisees, the fishermen and the foreigners.  Some would not dance; they would not follow the Caller of the Dance.  But others heard the voice of the Caller, and they joined the Lord of the Dance.

Dancing is an action rather than an event. There are times when we don’t feel like dancing.  It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back.  The music makes us sad.  Anger and pain are common experiences in our humanity – rejected immigrants… ostracized LGBTQ persons… disparities between rich and poor… denial of basic rights to those different from us… loss of many kinds… sickness and death… wars around the world… an eroding planet Earth.  These experiences make us feel hopeless.

But the Scriptures remind us that Jesus dwells in the pain we all suffer; God suffers with us. The Lord of the Dance identifies wholly with us who are aching, weeping, lonely, fearful, and dying. God takes our pain into God’s very self.  I like the words at the end of Psalm 30 – the promise of healing and hope for all of us who mourn, who go through dark times and who have cried out to God.  Just like the Psalmist declared to God, this is also a promise for us today ‘You have turned my mourning into dancing. You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.’

At this Easter we celebrate the promise that when life seemingly ends on Earth we keep dancing – just in a very different form that we can only try to imagine.  The Lord of the Dance IS the Life that will never die.  The Lord of the Dance dances through the pain, leading us in the dance and inviting us to join in the power of life.  We are invited to participate in the healing of the world by living lives of compassion and grace.  We are invited to know and remember the power of God’s love.  We give thanks that our God is the Life that will never, ever die.  This resurrection Life lives in us.  God is our dance partner, embracing us fully.

Today my friends – Dance!  Dance with the Lord of the Dance… Dance wherever you may be!

*Hymn: Lord of the dance (250)

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

Lord God, we come before you in thanksgiving this morning.  Of all days in the year, this is the one that draws the greatest thanks from us.  We celebrate the greatest gift of all – the life, death and resurrection of your son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  His resurrection is your signature and seal on his life, setting it apart from all others.  Through this life, death and renewed life we see the plan that you have for our own lives.   Our hearts overflow with gratitude.

We give you thanks for the many blessings that we enjoy.  Especially we thank you for the special people that you have given each of us in our lives.  Our family and friends, colleagues at work, members of our church, teammates in our sports and all others that are part of our lives are gifts from you that we treasure.   They are our dancing partners in this dance of life that we enjoy with them and with you.  All that has life and breath, praise the Lord.

May we always be aware of the amazing grace through which you demonstrate your deep love for each of us and for all humanity.  Even though there will be pain, mourning and regret, may your love keep dancing and moving in each of us so that through your Spirit we will continue to dance throughout our lives.  In the name of our Lord and Saviour, the risen Jesus Christ.  AMEN

Response: In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful

Reflection on giving: We have been giving faithfully since the beginning of the pandemic and we are committed to continuing the ministry and mission that define Dayspring – using the various ways described on the screen and in Dayspring Weekly News. Thank you all for your support of our shared vision and mission. For those in the sanctuary, if you have offering envelopes with you, simply put them in the offering plate at the back of the sanctuary as you leave the service today.

*Hymn: I’m gonna live so God (648)

Sending out with God’s blessing
Go into the world, dancing with joy and hope.
Fulfill your calling to be God’s children and to be the living body of God’s son in the world.
In the name of the Father, the Spirit and the resurrected Christ, AMEN

Response: God to enfold you

Postlude: This is Amazing Grace (congregation join in singing)

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Numbers in brackets after a song/hymn indicate that it is from the 1997 Book of Praise of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Those and other songs are being used in accordance with the specified licenses with One Licence and CLC. Darlene Eerkes retains the copyright (© 2022) on all original material presented by her. The source of some of the material used in this service is unknown. Unacknowledged use of copyrighted material is unintentional and will be corrected immediately upon notification being received.

Easter Worship Song Sheet 220417

Christ the Lord is risen today       

‘Christ the Lord is risen today,’ all creation join to say. Raise your joys and triumphs high; sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply. Love’s redeeming work is done, fought the fight, the battle won: lo! our sun’s eclipse is o’er; lo! he sets in blood no more.

 Vain the stone, the watch, the seal; Christ hath burst the gates of hell. Death in vain forbids him rise; Christ hath opened paradise. Lives again our glorious Kìng: where, O death, is now thy sting? Once he died our souls to save; where thy victory, O grave?

 Soar we now where Christ hath led, following our exalted Head; made like him, like him we rise; ours the cross, the grave, the skies. Hail! the Lord of earth and heaven! Praise to thee by both be given; every knee to thee shall bow, risen Christ triumphant now.

Words: Charles Wesley, public domain. Music: George Elvey; descant, C S Lang © Novello & Co. Ltd 1953. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

He is Lord

He is Lord, he is Lord: he is risen from the dead and he is Lord! Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord

Words: Philippians 2:10-11© public domain. Music: Norman Warren © by Hope Publishing Co. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Jump with joy

Jump with joy for Jesus’ life everlasting, Hallelujah! Jump with joy for Jesus’ life everlasting, Hallelujah! Jump with joy for Jesus binds us together, Jump with joy for Jesus binds us together. Sing now with gladness hallelujah! Sing now with gladness hallelujah! Joyfully praising, Joyfully praising,

 Jump with joy, for Jesus’ love is eternal hallelujah! Jump with joy, for Jesus’ love is eternal hallelujah! Jump with joy, for we are one now in Jesus, hallelujah! Jump with joy, for we are one now in Jesus, hallelujah! Dancing our praises, hallelujah! Dancing our praises, hallelujah! Shouting with laughter, hallelujah!

Shouting with laughter, hallelujah!

Words: Chichewa chorus translation, Clara Henderson© the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Music: Chichewa chorus transcribed as sung in the Balantyre Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian © Public domain.

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye, all ye lands. Serve the LORD, the LORD with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD, He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we, we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

 Refrain 1: Glory, Glory, Glory Hallelujah! (x3)

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless, bless His name. For the LORD, the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth, His truth endureth, to all generations.

 Refrain 2:Thank you Jesus, thank you thank you Jesus (x3)

Words: Gordon Young © 1968, H W Gray/Jubilate Music Group. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Glory to the Father

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit As it was in the beginning is now, and will be forever Amen, amen, amen

Words: traditional, public domain music: J. Weaver © J. Weaver 1978

Special Music,: Now the green blade rises

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain, Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain; Love lives again, that with the dead has been: Love is come again, like wheat new springing green.

In the grave they laid Him, Love by hatred slain, Sure that he would never, never wake again, Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen: Love is come again, like wheat new springing green

Forth he came  at Easter, like the risen grain,

He that for these three days in the grave had lain; raised from the dead my living Lord is seen: Love is come again, like wheat new springing green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving or in pain, Then your touch can call us back to life again; Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been: Love is come again, like wheat new springing green

Words: Crum, J.M.C. (1872-1958) © Oxford University Press. Music: harmony: Shaw, Martin (1875-1958) © Oxford University Press; harmony: Oxford Book of Carols © Oxford University Press, London. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

I danced in the morning             

I danced in the morning when the world was begun, And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun, And I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth: At Bethlehem I had my birth.

 Refrain: Dance, then, 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.

I danced for the scribe and the Pharisee, But they would not dance and they wouldn’t follow me; I danced for the fishermen, for James and John; They came with me and the dance went on.   Refrain

 I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame: The holy people said it was a shame. They whipped and they stripped and they hung me high, And they left me there on a cross to die:        Refrain

I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black; It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back. They buried my body and they thought I’d gone; But I am the dance, and I still go on:        Refrain

They cut me down and I leapt up high; I am the life that’ll never, never die. I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me: I am the Lord of the dance, said he.   Refrain

Words and Music: Sydney Carter © 1963 1963 Stainer & Bell Admin Hope Publishing Company Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful

In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful. In the Lord I will rejoice Look to God, do not be afraid Lift up your voices, the Lord is near, Lift up your voices, the Lord is near.

Words: Jacques Berthier; 1991 © Taize Community, GIA Publications Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

I’m gonna live so God can use me

I’m gonna live so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime! I’m gonna live so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna work so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime! I’m gonna work so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!

 I’m gonna pray so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime! I’m gonna pray so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna sing so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime! I’m gonna sing so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!

 Words and music African-American spiritual; public domain

God to enfold you

God to enfold you, Christ to uphold you, Spirit to keep you in heaven’s sight So may God grace you, heal and embrace you Lead you through darkness into the light

Words: J. Bell, G. Maule; © WGRG Iona Community, GIA Publications Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

This is amazing grace

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness Whose love is mighty and so much stronger The King of Glory, the King above all kings Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder Who leaves us breathless in awe and wonder The King of Glory, the King above all kings

 This is amazing grace This is unfailing love That You would take my place That You would bear my cross You lay down Your life That I would be set free Jesus, I sing for All that You’ve done for me

Who brings our chaos back into order Who makes the orphan a son and daughter The King of Glory, the King above all Kings Who rules the nations with truth and justice Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance The King of Glory, the King above all kings

This is amazing grace This is unfailing love That You would take my place That You would bear my cross You lay down Your life That I would be set free. Jesus, I sing for All that You’ve done for me. Jesus, I sing for All that You’ve done for me.

Music: Josh Farror, Phil Wickham, Jeremy Riddle. Words © WB Music Corp, FBR Music, Josh’s Music. Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

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