Willing to Dance | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
August 2010

Willing to Dance

By: Katie Bishop
Now King David was told, "The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God." So David went down and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark of the LORD had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets. As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart. (2 Samuel 6:12-16)

My father does not dance. We love to tease him that his form of dancing is simply him moving his shoulders up and down a couple of times, completely out of sink with the music. Now I am sure you can imagine how terrified I was about the daddy-daughter dance at my wedding! I had never seen my father dance, but as the wedding got closer, I began to beg my father to say he would dance with me at my wedding.

And then he would shrug his shoulders a couple of times, till my eyes filled with tears of worry. The night before my wedding, he and my mother came into my room at their house and prayed with me. As they were leaving, my mother reassured me that everything would go according to plan. She then wacked my father in his belly saying, “And I am SURE your father will dance with you.” The shoulders shrugged and I went to bed, not really sure.

All through the preparations from hair to makeup to putting on my dress, that question of whether or not my father would dance lingered in the back of my mind. In fact, I was not sure he was going to dance even as the DJ began to announce the song, “And now we invited Chris to dance with his mother, and Katie to dance with her father…” As Chris and his mom began to dance, I began to look; would my father dance with me, or just shrug his shoulders? Then my father popped through the crowd and he shrugged his shoulders just once before beginning to dance with me. As we did, he smiled, and said, “Some things are worth a dance.”

In the scripture from 2 Samuel, David knew that some things were worth a dance. The Ark of the Covenant that symbolized God’s presence among God’s people was one of them. As the Ark of the Covenant was carried into Bethlehem, King David was willing to strip down to a linen cloth and dance before the ark. Knowing that this was a moment of triumph of God’s people, David was overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit and simply had to dance – no matter what other people thought.

Scripture tells us what other people thought, specifically David’s wife Michal: “And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart (2 Samuel 6:16).” She despised him! David was filled with the Holy Spirit, overwhelmed by the power of God, and Michal despised him.

The truth in scripture is perhaps something you have witnessed before. As followers of Christ, we know that there are some things that are worth a dance. When we are filled with the Spirit, we do “foolish” things. We let our hands, our feet, our mouths be overcome by God so that we might proclaim God’s truth, so that we might share God’s love. Sometimes that means that people despise us.

Sometimes people don’t understand; they are not sure of God’s presence, or have yet to experience the power and grace of God in the lives. Perhaps they don’t know what it means to dance before the Lord. Perhaps in their lives there is nothing worth a dance.

Yet, we are called to dance. We are called to strip away ourselves so that God might move and work through us. Because there are some things worth a dance – and our God is one of them.

May you be moved by the Holy Spirit this week to dance the dance of obedience, of joy, of love as you reach out even to those who might despise you.

Discussion Question: In what ways is God calling you to dance?

See more devotions from Katie and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.