Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and flute.
I grew up hating dancing. I did not like Cotillion, that I was forced to go to in junior high. And I did not really like the dancing part of the musicals I was in, as a teen. I remember the first audition for West Side Story, that I soon dropped out of. Instead, I took the non-dancing part of Glad Hand, the Social Worker.
I also did not like dances when I was in high school. I liked music and I liked the lights, but I did not enjoy dancing. It wasn’t my thing. I didn’t get it.
There was a popular Bible teacher at the time who surmised that since you can’t really lead someone to Christ while dancing, you shouldn’t dance. To me, that was more funny than true.
Later, I began to like it. But, not until long after I had done a lot of it in musicals, both in church and at school. I saw dancing, as worship, in church, when I was a young adult.
When I was in my thirties; many of us would dance together, in church together, before the Lord. It was natural and spontaneous and pure. Not everyone danced. My best friend always stayed in his seat.
I understand, if you do like or don’t like to dance in church during worship. It is interesting to watch videos of Shakers or Mennonite Christians dancing in worship. It kind of dispels the idea than dancing is carnal or worldly.
Where is dancing in the New Testament? Does Acts or Paul’s letters mention dancing? Do Peter, James, or Jude? The book of Revelation? No. Many things are not mentioned specifically.
Dancing is mentioned by Jesus, in a positive light, in one place. The story of the two sons. They celebrated by dancing when the younger brother came home.
We usually refer to that story as The Prodigal Son story. And I learned the story and realized that it was my story, because I had been a prodigal. When I came back, I had the joy and the celebration of having been found after being lost. I went from being sad and mad to happy and glad, smiling all the time.
I believe that we are going to be dancing a lot in the future, celebrating people who are coming home to God. And you might not dance, like my friend, but you will share the joy on the sidelines. I went from disliking dancing to loving it.