God makes me want to dance

Saturday, March 12, 2005

"Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; Let the sea roar, and all it contains; Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy." -- Psalm 96:11,12

Praise God forevermore! The Hebrew word for "rejoice" is "agila," meaning "to spin around."

Maybe I'm daffy, but I picture daffodils and daisies just spinning for the Lord. I suspect the little peeping frogs that I hear on these warmer evenings are using their larynxes to laud the Lord, wispy weeping willows hula before God, and my yellow jonquils are Jesus' golden trumpets that herald his rejuvenation of the earth each year.

Trees raise their leafy arms in adoration, lambs gambol before the Good Shepherd, and cardinals call, "Teacher! Teacher! Teacher!" in honor of Jesus, the teacher of Israel. You don't believe me? Just listen to a cardinal. I'm sure that's what he's singing.

It makes me want to dance! The Bible is full of folks -- solid, sashaying, swaying saints, not writhing reprobates -- who boogalooed before the Lord.

Miriam danced when Israel was delivered from the Egyptians, and thousands of grateful, gyrating women joined her. When David slew Goliath, the women cut a rug (1 Samuel 18:6,7).

And David was so excited when the ark was taken to Jerusalem that he did a jig. Quite a number of psalms encourage dancing, and Ecclesiastes 3:4 says there is "a time to dance."

Well, glory to God! And that's just the kind of dance these passages are talking about -- giving glory to God!

With our gratitude attitude, we ought to be so thankful for every breath we breathe that we just want to spin and twirl for Jesus.

Why, I still remember as a kid watching Tevye, the Jewish milkman in the musical "Fiddler on the Roof," as he wrapped himself in his prayer shawl, held up his Torah and danced before Yahweh, and I was thinking, "Wouldn't it be fun for us Christians to hold up our Bibles and dance before God?"

But on Sunday mornings we're eyeing our watches, wondering how many more songs we're going to have to sing -- and do we really have to sing all six verses? There's usually only four. Why do we have to sing the one with six verses? We wonder if we're ever going to sit down, when we fish out a few dollars to throw in the offering (that's another, longer, much longer column).

But we ought to be offering up sacrifices of praise.

We should be bubbling over with the joy of loving God and being loved by him.

We ought to feel humbly privileged to get to praise our creator, savior and provider.

Isaiah 61:10 says, "I will rejoice greatly in the Lord. My soul will exult in my God, for he has clothed me with garments of salvation, he has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness."

Let me translate: "I will jump, jiggle, bow, clap, sing, skip, jump, moonwalk, dance, wink, whoop, holler and shout to the Lord with all my heart and strength. My soul will completely bubble over and spin around in my God, for Jesus has personally put pure, white salvation clothes on undeserving, hell-bound me, and given me a snuggly, always-in-style coat of righteousness." (Rejoicing June Version)

So now, if you'll excuse me. Please don't cut in ... I'm waltzing with the King.

June Seabaugh is a member of Christ Church of the Heartland in Cape Girardeau.

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