While attending a fine choral presentation by a boychoir, I actually learned the words to what I had thought was a light-weight Christmas song about a party. I had assumed it was about a boy gathering the courage to ask his true love to dance. The melody bounces up and down, and the tones shift rapidly, making the lyrics hard to decipher.
However, after looking at the words in the program as I heard it sung today by a choir of young men with trained voices, I now have a new favorite Christmas song. Perhaps you’ve heard this one.
“Tomorrow shall be my dancing day: I would my true love did so chance to see the legend of my play, to call my true love to my dance: Sing O my love, O my love, my love, my love, this have I done for my true love.
“Then was I born of a virgin pure, of her I took fleshly substance; thus was I knit to man’s nature, to call my true love to my dance: Sing O my love, O my love, my love, my love, this have I done for my true love.
“In a manger laid and wrapped I was, so very poor this was my chance, betwixt an ox and a silly poor ass, to call my true love to my dance: Sing O my love, O my love, my love, my love, this have I done for my true love.
“Then afterwards baptized I was; the Holy Ghost on me did glance, my Father’s voice heard from above, to call my true love to my dance: Sing O my love, O my love, my love, my love, this have I done for my true love” (John Gardner).
When you get to the second stanza, you pause. Wait a minute! You back up and read the first verse a second time. It dawns on you that Jesus is the singer. Tomorrow will be His dancing day. Christ Jesus is the Lover who calls His bride to the dance.
I saw the legend of His play. He called me to the dance. He spoke to my heart. Did you hear Him call?
Imagine Him planning His moves for all eternity past, designing the dance, picturing His bride, buying the corsage, anticipating the moment, preparing for the task. For us He put on human flesh (rather than His tuxedo), knit himself to man’s nature, lay in a manger between an ox and a silly poor ass, grew to manhood, was baptized, was proclaimed to be God’s Son, and offered Himself to be tortured and to die. He did all this so His true love could become His dancing partner, His bride.
Poised by the dance floor, He stands with His hand held out to you, gazing into your eyes–the holy Lover who can meet all the longings of your soul. The only One who can. Will you take His hand and join the dance?
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