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Lenten Devotionals Friday March 17, 2023: Joy of Dancing

“David danced before the Lord with all his might.”  (2 Samuel 6:14)

Some time ago, a video of the late Congressman John Lewis dancing to Pharrell Williams’ hit song “Happy” went viral.  The encouraging voice behind the camera called, “C’mon, break it down, Congressman,” as Lewis shook, swayed, and clapped his hands to the beat.  “Mm.  This is my song,” he said.  Then, “I could do this better if I had a drink.”  Ha!  What joy.

I admire people who can dance well, who know how to move their body with precision and a kind of coordination for which I can only dream.  I watch shows like “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” and marvel at what movement is possible.  To the utter embarrassment of my teenagers, I dance-when a good song starts playing in my earbuds, or a small, safe, seat-dance in the car, or at a relative’s wedding.  Dancing is joy set to movement, even if you’re not particularly coordinated.

David danced before the Ark of the Covenant (God’s house) as it was carried into Jerusalem, among shouts of joy and the sound of trumpets.  The ark had been captured by the Philistines and eventually made3 its way to the house of Abinadab, the son of King Saul, but remained outside Jerusalem.  David succeeded KIing Saul and, moving the ark back to Jerusalem, restored the city as Israel’s religious center.  David’s joy over this move manifested in leaping and dancing as he praised his God.

Examine:  When was the last time you felt like dancing?  Breathe.  Notice thoughts and feelings that arise.

Imagine:  Imagine yourself at your best friend’s wedding where you are pulled onto the dance floor.  What would happen if you let go of inhibition and let your body loose?  What would that feel like?  What music would be playing?  What fun would you have?  What keeps you from experiencing this bodily joy?

Pray:  Free me for joy, O God, so I can live with gratitude.