By Jon Moody, Worship Director
Hey Elevate Family! Welcome to the 5th installment of our "WHY's Of Worship" blog. I hope that this has been as enjoyable for you to read as it has been to write! In this installment, we will be looking at why we dance in worship. Disclaimer: I will not be talking about the waltz or any form of dancing they do in clubs! That would just make for a really weird worship service…
I will start by saying that I am not a great dancer. I have 0 dance moves (unless you count the sprinkler) and I’ve got the stiffest hips on the planet. Essentially, I want you to imagine a 2x4 trying to dance. Thankfully, there is a term in the church world called the “Christian hop” and let me tell you, I’ve got that locked DOWN! It may not be graceful, but it still counts. Let’s look at what the bible says about worship and dancing.
The first account of dancing in worship is seen in Exodus immediately after the Israelites cross the Red Sea:
Exodus 15:20-21 Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took the timbrel in her hand,
and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing.
Miriam answered them, “Sing to the LORD, for He
is highly exalted; The horse and his rider He has hurled into the sea.”
Miriam responded to what the Lord had just done for her and her people by playing an instrument, singing and dancing. All forms of worship. King David did something similar to Miriam. In 2 Samuel 6, David and his men were in the process of bringing the Ark to Jerusalem:
“14And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might,
and David was wearing a linen ephod.
15So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up
the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.”
I love that the verse says “David was dancing before the Lord with all his might.” This shows how much passion and joy David had in this moment.
A final verse mentions the congregation of His people. Psalm 149:1-3
“1Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song,
And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones.
2Let Israel be glad in his Maker,
Let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King.
3Let them praise His name with dancing;
Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.”
We clearly see that we are encouraged to dance along with singing in the congregations of the godly ones.
WE DANCE BECAUSE IT'S A JOYFUL EXPRESSION OF
WORSHIP TO GOD.
There is a common thread in these verses that I believe brings us to the why we dance question. We are encouraged to dance in our worship to the Lord because it is an extremely joyful expression of worship to Him. We see, especially with Miriam and David, that they were celebrating something God had done for them or through them. They danced because of the amount of joy they had. There is a lyrical line in the song Crazy by Deluge (a worship band from Louisiana) that I absolutely love: “Spirit of God come upon my heart, And I will dance like David danced, And I will shout like David shouts.” Remember in 2 Samuel where it says that David was dancing before God with all his might?
I know that dancing isn’t for everybody. Maybe you just don’t want to draw attention to yourself. I get it! But I would like to challenge you and encourage you to not worry about what others think. Start out by just doing the “Christian Hop”! Remember that God delights in your worship, and speaking from personal experience, there is incredible freedom when you dance. Even just a little bit of a hop!