Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
-Philippians 4:4 (NRSV)
Joy is a curious thing. The older we get, the less often we are caught in an outburst of joy it seems. Author and storyteller Mark Yaconelli often asks adults, "when was the last time you danced?" For most adults, unless they do it for a living or take lessons (or teach them), we might have to think back to a recent wedding or perhaps back to college or high school.
When was the last time you danced? Spontaneously. For joy. When was it? David danced before the Lord. Jesus is the Lord of the Dance. We have dances for specific occasions, and tradition holds that the first thing a married couple does in front of all their loved ones at a reception is to dance. Dancing can be couples, it can be groups, and even solo. It can be rehearsed, but even then, a rehearsed dance or dance move can be spontaneous.
As Neal and I walked down the hall today, we happened by little girls from the preschool who were hand in hand in a circle, dancing and singing. It was not an organized activity. They were not being instructed to dance. It wasn't part of a game. They were simply delighting in one another. Someone has said, "I dance because I do not have the words to describe my joy." And Maya Angelou said, "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song."
This week, look for moments of joy, and don't keep them to yourself. Allow yourself to be childlike for a moment. Sing. Dance. Forget you're an adult for a moment. When the young people of this faith community share their statements of faith, do not be afraid to take joy and delight in them and sing a little louder, dance a little as we sing, and put a little oomph in your call to worship when there's an exclamation point. Rejoice in your life. Rejoice in them. Rejoice in the Lord. And again, I say rejoice.
Prayer for Today
Lord, help me to rejoice. Help me to sing. Help me to dance. Send your spirit to move in me so I can remain neither still nor silent. Amen.