Lane Mem. UMC Sermon—You Should Be Dancing

Let us pray . . . Dear Lord, You have spoken to us through the Bible, and you have spoken to us through your works, and Lord you have spoken to us through people around us. Lord, today we ask you to speak in this place through me. I pray that the words I say and the words that all of us hear might be pleasing and acceptable in Your sight. AMEN.

You should be dancing. Those words represent more than just the Bee Gees hit you’ve heard today which appeared on the soundtrack to 1977’s “Saturday Night Fever” which may bring up memories of polyester leisure suits, platform shoes, flare pants, and floors that light up and blink at you. Those words represent a philosophy, a way of looking at life. It’s a decree to the world that we should be happy, joyful, and show that to everyone around us.

The Bee Gees weren’t the first to convey this message to the people, although their version certainly does have a better dance beat than the third verse of Psalm 149 which reads “Let them praise his name with dancing, and make music to him with tambourine and harp.”

What is dancing? Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary would tell us that it is simply, “To engage in or perform a dance, or to move or seem to move up and down in a quick or lively manner.” A very cold and half-done definition if you as me, because dancing is much much more than that. Dancing is fun. Dancing is happiness. Dancing is a way of forgetting your worries and rejoicing!

Well, aren’t we supposed to be joyful in the Lord? Aren’t we supposed to be smiling and in a good mood when we are here worshiping the very entity that made everything we know and love? “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth / Worship the Lord with gladness, come before him with joyful songs,” reads the first two verses of Psalm 100. The first thing that pops into our mind when we hear the word ‘worship’ should be joy, because being joyful in the Lord is really what worship is all about. Well, what better way to show joy than to dance?

In the sixth chapter of 2nd Samuel, when King David brough the ark of God to Jerusalem he responded in joy by dancing. If you’d been there at the time, you could have looked out the window and seen King David partying in the streets, dancing with all of his might for the Lord. Some might have considered it improper, and definitely behavior unfitting for someone such as David. But without a second thought, he showed God and all the people of Jerusalem that he was happy and joyful in the Lord.

Maybe we, the churchgoers and God lovers of today, should take a lesson from King David. If you’re joyful in the Lord, then by all means show him!

You Should Be dancing. A song that at first glance doesn’t seem to have much of any meaning at all, but those four words tell us exactly how we should look at Christian worship. Dancing is a perfect representation of the way you should feel about God. After all, we live in a dark and dreary world in many ways—we spend hours upon hours working and doing things we don’t want to do and have so little time to just praise God! Then, on Sundays, we go to our churches and we sit and we listen and we read responses and sing hymns—wonderful things in-and-of themselves—but that component of joy, a component of true happiness, is often missing from religious services in my experience.

Are you really happy right now? Are you smiling? Are you in the mood to get up right now and dance because you are so happy that you’re here worshipping the all-powerful creator and ruler of the universe? If your answer is not a jubilant, immediate, and blaring “yes”, then something is wrong.

Once again, I am not saying to completely throw out the services we have. In fact, I think that most of the aspects of our services are absolutely wonderful the way that they are. But something does need to be done to liven things up a bit, to prove to God—and to ourselves—that we do enjoy this, and that we truly do love God. It may be dancing, or maybe just short of that and simply adding more variety in the types and styles of music we use in service, or it may be something else entirely. But something does need to be done.

In conclusion, I ask just one thing of this congregation today. SMILE. And from now on, whenever you attend church services, smile every chance you get. Be happy, and show that to the people around you. And if you feel moved by the spirit, don’t be afraid to dance.

Praise the Lord.

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.