REV. GLENN MILLER: Whose Tune Do We Dance to?
King David entered Jerusalem dancing, prancing and leaping. He'd conquered Jerusalem and made it his kingdom's capital. He'd won a victory over the Philistines.
He was bringing the Ark of the Covenant (the box containing the Ten Commandments and other sacred articles of the Exodus) into Jerusalem, where the ark would remain as a holy symbol of God's presence and favor upon the tribes of Israel (2 Samuel 6).
David, the dashing, bold young king, was a national hero. Who would question anything he might decide to do?
He and his entourage entered the city to music, dancing and singing. Michal, David's wife, saw her husband dancing before the ark. She was not pleased.
As a young princess, Michal saved David from the murderous hand of her increasingly violent father, King Saul. Now, she looked out of her window and saw David not as a hero but as a buffoon.
When David entered their house, Michal said to him, "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!" (2 Sam. 6:20).
Michal dared question David's intent and devotion. Was David dancing for God or for himself and his own vanity?
David gave his wife this stinging rebuke: "It was before the Lord who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord's people Israel. I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor" (2 Sam.6:21-22 NIV).
This text ends with a very telling conclusion: "And Michal, daughter of Saul, had no children to the day of her death" (v.23).
David never officially divorced Michal, but the separation between them became final and complete.
Whose tune do we dance to? Do we dance for God or for someone or something else?
We like to see Jesus as a healer and comforter, but he could correctly assess the human condition. Jesus saw how easy it is for people to dance to the tune of their own agendas.
In Luke 7:31-32, he pointed to the people around him and said, "To what, then can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in a market place and calling out to each other, 'We played a flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.'"
The people exhibited behavior which said, "If you don't dance to our music, and do not show the proper emotion for our songs, you are not part of our group. You are outcasts. And we don't want to have anything to do with you!"
How about the dance of politics and money? Republicans and Democrats both decry so-called "soft money," yet both parties rake it in each month, to more and more obscene levels. Many political leaders can't express how they really feel or take personal, ethical or moral stands, for fear of turning off some of their big-time supporters.
As Christians, we aren't required to dance to any particular political, social or religious agenda. A Christian does not dance to the music of the ultra-conservative right, nor does a Christian dance to the music of the ultra-liberal left.
A Christian dancing to the truth of God is concerned about consistency, honesty, integrity and the need to judge the actions of one's self before judging the actions of others.
Whose tune do we really dance to? What kind of God do we worship and follow?
The melody of God proclaims a message that God loves all human beings --including the unlovable. The melody of God would have us see that the greatest change is not political, or economic or social -- it's a personal change that occurs in the human heart. It's the change that happens when a man or woman stops living for the false gods of money, power or status and begins to live for the glory, joy and inner peace that comes when participating in building the kingdom of God. Now that's a tune to really dance to!
A retired Navy chaplain, the Rev. Glenn I. Miller, D. Ministry, serves as senior pastor of The Village Chapel of Pinehurst.
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