Children's Homily for July 15, 2018: Footloose! (The Rev. Dr. Deborah White)
Updated: Aug 10, 2021
Wow! There was a lot going on in our bible stories this week! What kinds of things happened? (Give them a chance to answer). There was a king who had friends who had names which are very hard to say. We were told that God saves us and blesses us. Who knew that already? (Give them a chance to answer). AND, we had a very sad story about John the Baptist dying.
Who remembers who John the Baptist was? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. He was Jesus’s cousin. He baptized Jesus. He sometimes lived in the wilderness and at locusts and honey. And he often told people what he thought were the right and wrong things to do. (Give them a chance to comment). But in today’s story, someone got really mad at him and got the king to kill him. That’s so sad! (Give them a chance to answer). I don’t think it’s a good idea to get that mad at someone just because they disagree with you – do you? (Give them a chance to answer). So that was really sad, wasn’t it? (Give them a chance to answer).
Okay, this is tricky. Who can tell me why the king decided to hurt John the Baptist? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. Someone asked him to. How did she get him to do it? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right – she danced! That’s really weird – that someone danced and just because she did a good job, the king had to do what she asked – and it was a bad thing. It was a thing based in hate. That’s pretty powerful! But sometimes doing this like dancing (and singing and telling stories and drawing!) can be very powerful. I am going to tell you a story about that.
Once upon a time in America, there was a boy named Kevin Bacon. And he was in all the movies. And he was in a movie where he played a boy who LOVED to dance. His name was Wren. Well, Wren moved to a town where dancing wasn’t allowed! It wasn’t allowed because the people in the town believed that dancing made teenagers act stupid and get hurt. They had read this story about how John the Baptist died and they thought that dancing was about hate. But what they hadn’t read was the OTHER story we read today – the one about King David. In THAT story, King David danced. Who can tell me why he danced? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. Because he was happy to be friends with God. He danced “before the Lord with all his might.” He danced because just knowing God and loving God made him SO happy! For David, dancing was about love.
Now, back to our friend Wren. Wren knew that dancing could be about love, so he had to remind people that not all dancing was about hate. He had to understand that dancing could be about - what do you think I’m going to say? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right. Dancing can be about love – and so can singing, and drawing, and telling stories. So you shouldn’t think that any of those things – any kind of art - just like any kind of people – is necessarily good or bad.
Now, I think you know that one of the things I think is that church should always be happy, because we are so lucky to have God to love and to love us! And some of the ways that we can have fun and be happy is by reading stories, and singing and – what else? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right – dancing! So who would like to dance for God like David did? Good – and let’s use the music Wren liked to dance to. Do you agree that this is a good idea? (Give them a chance to answer). What do we say in church when we agree? (Give them a chance to answer). That’s right: AMEN. AMEN. (Play music and dance).