Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

Dancing girls. The three year old girls in our life just love to dance. And these pictures prove it. When our granddaughter comes over, she is so happy that she dances for joy. You can see in one of these pictures, she has both feet off the ground. My husband’s parents were conservative old order Mennonites, and they frowned upon dancing. No dancing! It was too worldly. I think they might have been thinking of couples dancing, which could get too romantic. In Bible times, they danced for joy and appreciation of the Lord. But it seems there was no couples dancing. Just solitary or in large groups. Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time to mourn and a time to dance. Did you know that God actually tells us to dance? In Jer. 31:4, God says “You will take up your tambourines and go out and dance with the joyful.” And I think that no other religion took that more seriously than The Shakers. They were an offshoot of the Quakers. Today, there are just a few Shakers left in a small village in Maine. That’s because they did not believe in procreation. They had to adopt children if they wanted them. They believed in lots of hard work and made furniture that became very well known. They wrote thousands of religious songs. Some of their sayings: “Put your hands to work and your heart to God.” “Do your work as if you had a thousand years to live and as if you were to die tomorrow.” They marched, danced, twitched, and shouted. Their services were loud, unstructured, and emotional. After many complaints and issues with disturbing the peace, they developed precision dances and orderly rituals. Too bad. Some people just take all the fun out of religion. These pictures show one of their barns and dances. But this reminds me of when King David danced down the street half naked. In one of his psalms, he said “Let them praise His name with dancing.” And he did just that. Now his wife saw that he was making a spectacle of himself. Just not proper for a King. And she lit into him when he came home. But I think that somehow God was pleased with David. He had dance with all his might to celebrate the Lord. It must have been a great show of praise and thanks. I’m not saying that we should all dance half naked, but King David’s motives were pure before God, and that’s what matters. Then there was the first all girl band. After God parted the Red Sea, Miriam led all the women in a dance of thanks with tambourines. Here’s how it seems to me. Just like a person delights in watching their grandchild dance for joy to see them, so God must look down on us when we dance for the sheer joy of Him and His creation.

1 comment:

David said...

I always imagined that David's "exposing himself" meant that as he danced in his loose robes he "flashed" the crowd from time to time. I didn't take it to mean that he was unclothed.