Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dancing With Trees

Dancing with trees! Was this some kind of joke? Someone described the action in the woods as appearing like dancing. MSN reported this rather strange activity performed by bears in the forest. I watched video clips of a bear looking around in a wooded area, as if to see if anyone else was watching. The bear approached a tree and then suddenly stood up on his hind legs. With his back facing the tree, this enormous bear begins a series of movements as he scratched his back using the trunk of the tree. Several other bears were also caught doing the same thing. The bears’ actions were like creative dancing movements, twisting and turning, the paws and shoulders moving up and down, in and out. It was a display of nature that reminded me of the awesome creativity of God!

Sheer delight in God’s handiwork enables the faithful seeker of God to “see and hear” “…the trees of the forest singing for joy” and the “rivers clapping their hands!” (Psalm 96:12, 98:8)

Wow! I thought that if any of God’s creatures have a reason to dance, it is certainly human beings. In the very first verse of the Bible, the word for create (bara) refers to the unique and exquisite variety that God displayed in making the world and everything in it. The word indicates the delight that God experiences in actually being God and acting as Creator. The word in Genesis 1:1 also means to bring new things into being (Revelation 21:5). It was God’s intention to create human beings who live in such a way as to express the color, richness, rhythm and relationship of the Divine Community — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

As one of Jesus’ first disciples, Peter envisioned the “dance” of life being continually expressed through the spiritual gifts of obedient Christ followers (I Peter 4:10). After receiving eternal life through faith in Christ, each of us has the enabling power of God to communicate His manifold or multi-splendor grace of God to the world. Bears may dance in private but we are called to dance for the glory of God (Psalm 150:4, Ephesians 2:10)

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