“Why We Should Dance” 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19, Psalm 24, Ephesians 1:3-14
Delivered to Church for the Highlands
Sunday, July 11, 2021, Proper 10B
Did you see who won the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday? After spelling “Murraya” correctly, Zaila Avant-garde, a student in Harvey, Louisiana, became the winner. It will bless your heart to see her after she found out she won. [VIDEO] Her dance move there was a fitting response for sure as she had great reason to celebrate. When was the last time you danced about something? As we have heard from our scripture lessons this morning, we have a lot of good reasons to dance.
One thing that will make us dance is recognizing God’s presence with us as we gather together here. That’s what we just heard about in our reading from 2 Samuel. David and thirty thousand people set out from Baale-judah to carry the ark of God to the house of Abinadab. The journey turned into a parade, as they all broke out in dancing, “with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.” Their dance was before an audience of one–“the Lord”–as they celebrated God’s presence with them. The dancing continued, especially with David, as we are told he danced with all his might in his linen ephod, “leaping and dancing before the Lord.”
Shouldn’t we be dancing for the very same reason, especially now that we are aware that God’s presence is with us not just in an ark or on a cart but now in our heart? Yes, yes, we know that but do we really know it? Do we really live like we know God is with us, wherever we go and in whatever circumstances we happen to be in these days? If we did, I think we would all see more dancing. It would happen in the streets, in our churches, in our homes, workplaces, and relationships. Certainly there would be more noise in our world, the good kind that comes from delighting in the Lord to the point that we don’t care what people around us think as we do so. God is with us, here within us, and with us as we go.
A second reason we should be dancing is this: the beauty of the earth and God’s creation. (Psalm 24) Our Call to Worship from Psalm 24 reminded us that “the earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,” and that when we ascend the hill of the Lord we will receive a blessing from the God of our salvation. The psalmist rejoiced in the realization of what happens when creation connects with Creator, especially in a place of worship, where God enters and is glorified.
Sir Richard Branson is launching into space today, the first of several billionaires who are trying to get there before the others. I saw an interview of an astronaut who met with Branson to help him know what to expect. One thing he mentioned to him was how seeing the earth from space will forever change how he sees the world. I’m sure he is right and that Branson will be in awe.
When was the last time you were in awe of God’s creation? With these long beautiful days and clear starry nights, opportunities abound for us to see and be moved by what God has made. Being mindful of creation can happen while watching a bird gather an early breakfast, a butterfly fluttering outside your window, a lightning bug flash after dusk, or a sunset illustrate the sky. Paying attention to what God has made leads us to glorifying the Creator, something we can do in our worship whether we are outdoors or in the beauty of the Sanctuary. And just maybe when you see the glory of God, your feet will start to dance.
If the first two reasons aren’t enough to get you jiggy, the third most certainly will: all the spiritual blessings God has given us “in the heavenly places” and through Jesus (Ephesians 1:3-14). Paul got caught up in a moment of praise as he wrote to the Ephesian church about all they had in God. He reminds them of God’s eternal plan for them, their spiritual adoption into God’s family as children of God, their redemption and forgiveness through the riches of God’s grace given in Jesus, of the revelation they received of the mystery of God’s will, the inheritance they have been given, and the seal of the promised Holy Spirit. Can you imagine how hearing all of that lifted the spirits of the Ephesian Christians? I’m thinking they hit the dance floor as those words were read in their worship service.
Shouldn’t the same thing happen with us today? After hearing of all the spiritual blessings God has planned and provided for us through Jesus, we have every reason to dance with all our might before the Lord. Pondering the blessings is a great way to prepare for the dance. That’s why we gather together each week on the Lord’s Day, to hear about them and celebrate them together. But we must think of these blessings as we go from here. A great thing for us to do as we go into a brand new week is to read these blessings again several times, perhaps making them a beginning point for each day. If you really read them and take them to heart, people will notice. They’ll see you dancing. They might join in too.