“YOU DID NOT DANCE”
SCRIPTURE: SONG OF SONGS
13; MATTHEW 11: 16
GRACE COVENANT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, ASHEVILLE, NC
July 9, 2017
The Rev. Dr. Marcia Mount Shoop, Pastor
Song of Solomon 2:8
2:8 The voice of my beloved! Look, he comes,
leaping upon the mountains, bounding
over the hills.
2:9 My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look, there he stands behind our
wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice.
2:10 My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, m
y fair one, and come
2:11 for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
2:12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of
the turtledove is heard in our land.
2:13 The fig tree puts forth its figs, and t
he vines are in blossom; they give forth
fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
11:16 “But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the
marketplaces and calling to one another,
‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did
11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’;
11:19 the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a
drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her
11:25 At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have
led them to infants;
11:26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the
Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to
whom the Son chooses
to reveal him.
11:28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will
give you rest.
11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in
heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
11:30 For my y
oke is easy, and my burden is light.”
The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
Northern England in 1984 was tense, even violent. Coal Miners were striking
men were angry at their female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. Masculinity
meant working hard
in the mines. And widower, Jackie Elliot, was struggling to raise
his two sons without their mother.
One son, Tony, worked in the mines with his dad and was at his side in the strike
and in the stand offs with police.
The younger son, Billy, was stil
a young man in training. His father had him
signed up for boxing lessons
he wanted him to be tough, to learn what
to learn to be a man
if not boxing, then football or wrestling could teach him.
But Billy was terrible at boxing and he di
dn’t care about it either. What he loved to
do was dance.
He kept his dancing
a secret from his dad and his brother
but a teacher saw his
teenager in town did too
a teenager who struggled to fit in because of
his sexuality in that man’s world.
Billy ended up at the Royal Ballet School
a first for his working class town. Living
into his gifts changed everything
and everybody that it touche
even his dad,
who watched in tearful awe as his strong, powerful son, now an adult, leapt onto the
Royal stage when he came to see him dance.