SCRIPTURE: Psalm 65:9 (TM) – larger read: Psalm 65
Oh, visit the earth, ask her to join the dance! Deck her out in spring showers, fill the God-River with living water. Paint the wheat fields golden. Creation was made for this!
On a plaque marking Abraham Lincoln's birthplace near Hodgenville, Kentucky, is recorded this scrap of conversation: "Any news down 't the village, Ezry?" "Well, Squire McLain's gone t' Washington t' see Madison swore in, and ol' Spellman tells me this Bonaparte fella has captured most o' Spain. What's new out here, neighbor?" "Nuthin' nuthin' a'tall, 'cept fer a new baby born t' Tom Lincoln's. Nothin' ever happens out here." Some events, whether birthdays in Hodgenville (or Bethlehem) or spiritual rebirth in a person's life, may not create much earthly splash, but those of lasting importance will eventually get the notice they deserve.
Birth announcements are received. Some are responded to with a congratulations or something along those lines. Some are discarded and quickly dismissed. Birth announcements rarely tip the scale one way or another in our world. The world as a whole seldom takes note of a birth. Unless you are related it is normally nothing more than just a little curiosity. The world doesn’t stop. Life goes on. Such is the case for most births.
The world slowed slightly this year as many anticipated the birth of a child to Prince William and Kate Middleton. The press gathered … waiting. The people gathered … waiting. Some of us turned to watch daily updates. It’s a boy. The world cheered. We waited for the first look. But soon we returned to our lives. The press went back to doing what the press does. The crowds returned to their homes and their daily routines. Life goes on… undisturbed. The news of the birth was received. We took note… nothing more and nothing less. Our world didn’t stop. It was just another birth announcement… albeit a royal birth announcement. We will be updated as he grows, but our lives will not be affected. Life goes on.
Other births … well, they have a different affect. Some change the course of human history. Some affect the future of a whole people. Contributions made by some are not recognized in their lifetime. Others simply grow on you over time.
God’s birth announcement to the world delivered by an angel goes like this: “Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger." (John 8:10-12 – TM) This angel was soon joined by a heavenly chorus singing: “Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.” (vs 14)
And the world throws a birthday celebration every year, but does it ever become more than just a birthday celebration?
I danced in the morning when the world was young
I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun
I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth
At Bethlehem I had my birth
Dance, dance, wherever you may be
I am the lord of the dance, said he
And I lead you all, wherever you may be
And I lead you all in the dance, said he.
Are we dancing yet? Are we dancing so that the world would notice?
Help us join the eternal dance. May our dancing affect everyone around us. May the birth announcement this year be received different so that they too might join the dance.