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, oh! my love, my love, my love, this have I done for my true love.
Another hymn from the traditional Lessons and Carols line-up, I first fell in love with this song in Middle School. It is soft, playful, and lilting in its melody. And it sounds like so many other beautiful love songs.
What I did not understand then is the song’s true purpose. This 19th-century hymn has over ten verses. They take us through the entirety of the Chirst-child’s life, beginning with the Virgin birth through the Ascension after the Resurrection.
It is a love song, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, it is Christ who is singing – which makes this even more poignant that it is often sung by women or children. It is Christ who calls to his “true love” to join the dance.
And who is this true love? It is us. we are the ones who are invited into the dance of God’s work in this world. It is a dance that leads us into love for others, into acts of justice, into a willingness to give all that we have – even our very lives – for the others whom Christ so loves.
As the song suggests, the dance continues – for in Christ, the dance has become our own: Then up to heaven I did ascend, where now I dwell in sure substance, on the right hand of God that all may come unto the the general dance. Sing, oh! my love, my love, my love, this have I done for my true love.