Jesus said: ‘When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf.”
Recently we enjoyed an afternoon tea in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. We watched couples of all shapes, sizes and ages glide around the ballroom to music and I remembered the Civil Service Christmas dances Mum and Dad used to take us to. Dad loved to dance and spent the evening dancing with mum, myself and my sister. He taught us by having us stand on his toes so we were able to glide around the floor feeling very grown up and in control. We weren’t of course, Dad was in control, and sometimes he took steps which were too long and we fell off – dissolving into giggles. So what has this to do with the Holy Spirit?
Ballroom dancing couples are a great analogy for the relationship we can have with the Holy Spirit. Firstly it reminds us that the Holy Spirit is a person, not an ‘it’. You can have a relationship with a person, but not with an ‘it’ and that relationship can be superficial or it can be close; it can be a one-way relationship or it can be two-way. Secondly, it reminds us that in order for the dancing couple to negotiate the dancing space without crashing into other couples, standing on each other’s toes, or pulling away into different directions, one partner needs to keep an eye on the bigger picture, to know which direction and which steps will fit best and the other needs to be able to feel, hear or sense the hints and actions to enable them to follow the leading.
If we choose the Holy Spirit as our life-dance partner, he/she will be our comforter – when times are hard we can “stand on his/her toes” and close our eyes and know we will be taken the right way. The Holy Spirit will also be our teacher and our guide, he/she will teach, guide and help us walk the way and live the life of Jesus today.
Almighty God, You give us the gift of your Holy Spirit and yet we find it hard to relinquish control of our lives and our churches. Forgive us. Help us to step onto the dance floor of life, help us to follow the leading of your Holy Spirit so that our life-dance reflects the life-dance of Jesus and will draw those dancing alone to accept the invitation to join in. Amen
The Rev’d Sheila Coop, Minister, Macedonia URC, Failsworth