Dancing Measures

“Oh! Brave new world that has such creatures in it--.” Tempest by William Shakespeare 

Last week, I spent an afternoon in Stratford-Upon-Avon visiting the childhood home of William Shakespeare. The house is incredible, but quite crooked. Walking on the upper floor, it’s a wonder the entire place doesn’t blow down in a strong wind. But then again, it’s a really old house. In fact, the city is celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death (and again, this was his childhood home.) 

Shakespeare is one of my favorites. His words have so influenced our language. For example, Shakespeare was the first person to use phrases such as “it’s all Greek to me” “the long and short of it” “all’s well that ends well” “break the ice” “primrose path” and “one fell swoop” (as well as countless others.) His words resonate with people, bringing comfort and reminding us that we are all connected in the way we feel. 

We can feel many things in a world where headlines are filled with racial tension, radical violence, nauseating politics, and more drama than Romeo and Juliet. It feels like our world is divided. It feels like we’ve somehow lost our way. It can even feel hopeless sometimes. And sometimes we feel the same division, loss, and hopelessness in our own lives. Work, school, families, friends, and changes can often leave us feeling “weary of this world” (another Shakespearean phrase.) 

But our faith reminds us that regardless of how we feel, we are never alone. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he outlines the idea of “The Body of Christ”—an idea that we all are part of one body in God. In this collective unity, Paul says, in 1 Corinthians 12:36, “whether one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.” 

Through the good and bad in life, we are all connected through God. We are all in this life together, and there is nothing that can separate us from the Body of Christ. 

I found a video that highlights this pretty well. It’s called “Where the Heck is Matt?” What started as a personal blog—belonging to Matt—turned into an international sensation. Initially, Matt used his blog to post videos of himself dancing at famous locations around the world. Within just a few years, he had millions of fans. People wanted to join him in his dance-filled adventure around the world. He even received corporate sponsors who sent him to various locations to film himself dancing. 

If you have a minute, I’d invite you to take a look at the video. At first glance, Matt is a bit crazy. He’s just this lonely, touristy guy dancing in open spaces. But his crazy resonates with people. People from all over the world connect with Matt and want to be a part of what he is doing. And they find that they have that same crazy joy inside of them. 

Whatever you are feeling today, may you know that you are not alone. May you feel connected to God and to the family we all share in our faith. May we remember that we are not divided, we are not lost, and nothing in Christ is ever hopeless. 

And if you find that you have a little bit of crazy joy inside you, may you dance and let it out!

Zach Herzog

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