Dance in Worship? Another Thought

The other night, I had turned on some praise music. The boys were playing while Chris and I were talking. Chris looked over to see Alex dancing to the music. We grinned at the adorable child. His response was, “Mommy, come!” So I went in the kitchen and began moving to the music. Ryan ran in and joined us. Often when I’m doing movement with the preschoolers at church, we use scarves to wave around. At home, the boys like to get out my dish towels and use those as scarves. So, Ryan went and got us each a towel to move with. It was so much fun to watch them twirl, jump, and wave the towels around. The pure joy on their faces was so sweet!

Then Alex made the night when he said, “Mommy, I want Holy, Holy (actually called Revelation Song).  I want to praise the Lord!” As you can guess, I was thrilled to hear that! But it also got me thinking…

There was a time when the disciples asked Jesus who would be the greatest in heaven. His response? The one who humbles himself like a child. We usually refer to it as child-like faith, but I love how the New American Standard translates it:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:1-4

Children love to dance. It is a way (a fun way, I might add) to express the joy in their hearts! As adults, we don’t look at the dance as any more than that. It is not seen as sensual or distracting. Alex nearly always dances during the worship service and I’ve never had a complaint about it, only compliments. He is not embarrassed about his dance. He just wants to jump for joy when he hears those praises sung! I wonder if we adults have become too dignified? Are we willing to humble ourselves as children and worship Him completely? With body, soul, heart, and mind?

I have also noticed that when Alex dances, his movements will often follow things that I have done. If our children never see us willing to worship with our entire being, how will they learn? From the world, that’s how. They’ll learn from the parties, entertainment, nightclubs, etc. And then they will learn that dance is sensual and is for their own pleasure — not for delighting in the Lord.

I have only talked about dancing as worship here because that is where my heart is right now. But I would dare to say that it applies to many other things. I may no longer have shame in dancing, but what about singing? I don’t have a good voice. I can only hit about 5 notes, but I can carry the tune. Still, there are many times in corporate worship that I will stop singing because a note is out of my reach. Yet, if I was in the solitude of my own home or car, I would belt it out and try my best! Perhaps in this, I need to humble myself and sing my heart’s delight, just as my five-year old does. Ryan is getting better about singing on key, but for a long time he was always singing the wrong notes. Nevertheless, he sang! And just as I was pleased and thought it was wonderful, I think the Lord is pleased when we worship Him completely. I won’t be getting on stage to sing a solo — or even with the choir — but perhaps tomorrow I will humble myself and worship as a child. Wholeheartedly. With all that is in me. Unashamed. And accepted.

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