Dancing as Worship

Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and flute.
-Psalm 150:4

“Now his older son was in the field; as he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
-Luke 15:25

I was thinking about a silly song that came out in 1962 and has been made popular twice since, called "The Locomotion".

The song's words encourage everybody to learn this dance.  This reminds me of how many Christians have never learned to dance before and to the Lord.  Most of us have learned how to sing, but not to dance.

It is as easy as learning your a, b, c's, and if you try it you will like it, is what the song says.

Do you know how singing makes you feel better sometimes?  Dancing is the same way.

I've had this idea that when I sing to God and to others about God, even when I don't feel like it, that it is like a sacrifice of praise (Ps. 49:14).  And I always end up feeling better!  It is like how smiling makes you feel better and how laughter is healing.

Dancing to and before God is the same way.  You might not feel like doing it, but when and after you do, you will feel better.  Try it, you'll like it.

There's never been a dance that's so easy to do It even makes you happy when you're feeling blue...

Dancing has always been part and parcel of praise and worship for God's people.  Yet, I'm pretty sure, that many believers have never danced in worship and praise.

Have you ever thought about how excited people get at sporting events, with cheering, clapping, jumping up and down, and even doing a little dance right there in the one square foot they give you in front of your seat?

How much more is God worthy of our praise?  Yet, many church worship meetings are like singing songs at a funeral.  The singing is serious and dignified, while somewhat happy, and joyous.

But what about jubilation and exhilaration?  What about moving your body, because you can't be still?

We do rock and sway a little. but what about those feet and legs?  What about whole body movement and motion cut loose to praise God?  This is not weird, but normal.

We have been held back from what is normal, if we never dance when we praise and worship.

Despising dancing to and before God as foolish is the very wrong attitude.  It is much better to just say, "I don't know how to do that".

Most believers know how to participate in singing, because we do it together.  We know about prayers, because we do prayers.

Now we might have limited knowledge of prayer, or something else in the Bible, because we don't do it or experience it little.

Dancing in worship is like that.  It is Biblical and normative for believers, in the Bible, but we are not used to it, so we are unfamiliar with it, and so don't do it.

Dancing is normal to celebrate and praise God.  When Jesus put dancing into his parable of the two sons and their dad, he was showing us that we will dance.

When Paul says that new covenant believers will participate in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; "psalms" refers to the book of Psalms, and in that book, instruments and dancing is referenced.  Musical instruments and dancing are not forbidden and you can not say that they are forbidden because the New Testament is silent, because it says, "Speak to one another in Psalms", and the Psalms say to play instruments and dance.

Tie Ephesians 5:19 back to Psalm 150.

"Praise him with tambourine and dance.  Praise him with string and flute." -Psalm 150:4

Do you have to dance?  No.  But the person that wrote Psalm 150 invites us to.