This morning, on my return from the school run, I had an intense experience of the love of God the Father. For some reason, I was imagining standing in a secondary school hall whilst those gathered were waiting for Mass to begin. The place was full of chatter and I felt a strong desire to quieten them down. The best way to do that was to tell them a story.
So I read the story of King David dancing wearing only a loin cloth in front of the Ark of the Covenant, in front of the Lord, as it is recorded in 2 Samuel 6. This brought a few smirks until I read out the line in verses 21 and 22 where he was responding to criticism of his actions: ‘I was dancing for the Lord, not for them… I shall dance before the Lord and lower myself even further than that.’
King David had humbled himself to give praise to Almighty God through liturgical dance and was not concerned about what other people thought.
At this time I was playing Matt Redman’s song, 10,000 Reasons in the car and I had been singing along.
Then my mind was drawn to another man, hanging near naked on a cross, writhing in agony for three hours, something that from a distance might have looked like a morbid form of dance.
It struck me then, that God, before whom David had danced, sent His only Son into the world to die an agonising death on the most feared form of execution that the Romans could muster. I pointed this out to the youngsters, telling them that Jesus died like that for me and for each and every one of them. Such is the love of the Father.
I told them that as they waited for Mass to begin that morning, they should picture Jesus on the cross right in front of them, there and then, that what they were about to participate in was the commemoration of the Paschal Mystery, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Then I asked them to join in with singing 10,000 Reasons and as I sang along in the car, my eyes welled up as I felt the Father’s profound love in my heart.