Lavish Worship

As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart. And they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed, each to his house.

And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” And David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord—and I will celebrate before the Lord. I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death. 2 Samuel 6:16-23.

Worship is a real sticking point with some people. Someone who is really exuberant and unrestrained makes more timid and reserved people uncomfortable. And sometimes the people who are more free in their worship are judgmental against the “stiffs” who look more like they’re at a funeral than at a worship service. Neither of these attitudes honors God.

As one of the less competent dancers who has to check with the rest if the congregation to see if I’m clapping on the beat, I get a little frustrated. I wish I could give honor to God in a way that was joyously off the chain and pleasing to the eye; and not a danger to those around me. What I figured out as a new Christian back in the 80s was to enjoy the worship of the graceful, and make it mine by saying “amen” to it. We all have different gifts, and I will not despise someone else’s worship, scowling and calling it, “inappropriate.”

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