Dance Revolution OR Tone Down the Passion

Are you the person making an exuberant fool of yourself? Or are you the family trying to rein in the crazy? Mardi Gras has been in full swing since Twelfth Night, with parties increasing until Fat Tuesday. Oh, to be in New Orleans instead of gray Illinois. 

King David was a dancing fool. Celebrating with all his might. Handing out cake to the crowd. Thoroughly embarrassing himself- his wife’s opinion as an observer.

As the Lord’s chest entered David’s City, Saul’s daughter Michal was watching from a window. She saw King David jumping and dancing before the Lord, and she lost all respect for him. “How did Israel’s king honor himself today?” she said. “By exposing himself in plain view of the female servants of his subjects like any indecent person would!” 2 Samuel 6:16,20b (CEB)

David was undignified in his joy. In his generosity. In his worship. He was completely caught up in the celebration. Regardless of respect, whether given or not. When was the last time we were so grateful, so joyful? Are we always analyzing, moderating our responses? It is rare to feel such freedom with everyone watching. When you are the one responsible.  

Michal miscalculated the impropriety as unbecoming. Perhaps David understood the appeal of authenticity. Or maybe that was just who he was, true to himself and his Lord. 

David replied to Michal, “I was celebrating before the Lord, who chose me over your father and his entire family, and who appointed me leader over the Lord’s people, over Israel—and I will celebrate before the Lord again! I may humiliate myself even more, and I may be humbled in my own eyes, but I will be honored by the female servants you are talking about!” 2 Samuel 21-22 (CEB)

Do we see God as choosing passion over respectability? Do we allow ourselves to be free in worship? To feel joy fully? To be overcome with gratitude and generosity? Perhaps Christians have rightly earned their reputation as stingy. No fun. Party poopers. With dour faces and lackluster worship. 

In today’s gospel passage, Jesus’ family shows up to try and rein him in. He’s been hanging with the crowds so much that he doesn’t even have time to eat. He is caught up in the fervor of healing people, so that every sick person tries to touch him. Church leaders accuse him of demon possession. 

When his family heard what was happening, they came to take control of him. They were saying, “He’s out of his mind!” Mark 3:21 (CEB)

Jesus has gone crazy, perhaps. Too much of a good thing. His mother and brothers come to talk some sense into him. Moderate. Tone things down. But Jesus is from the line of David. He has been appointed to be true to himself and true to his God. And sometimes the situation calls for passion. Not practicality.

And so Jesus declines to be summoned home by his mother and brothers. Instead, he welcomes each of us to be part of the family system that is more passionate about God’s work than about propriety. 

He replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Looking around at those seated around him in a circle, he said, “Look, here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does God’s will is my brother, sister, and mother.” Mark 3:33-35 (CEB)

Passionate for God’s work. To dance exuberantly. To give generously. To worship without regard for respectability. To be caught up in celebration. To heal and set free.

May we boldly enter the circle, invited by Jesus, to be part of this revolutionary family. 

Bulletin: 1/26
Order of Service: 1/26
Sermon: Our Church in the World: the way of Shalom

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