Last week, Beyond Abuse, one of Greenwood’s worthy ministries, announced the 2017 slate for its Dancing with the Stars Greenwood edition. I was honored and terrified to be on that list.
When Cathy Miller, the director of Beyond Abuse, called to ask me to support the group’s cause, I was eager to help, but have since thought deeply about what I have gotten myself into. What will people think about a pastor dancing? My hope is it is a reminder of King David dancing in the streets before the Lord. He says in Psalm 30, “You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever.” We have all been low and hopefully we have all been joyful. Just as we call out to God when we struggle, we should glorify God when we are full of joy.
At the beginning of a recording of “The First Noel,” Bing Crosby speaks these words: “I don’t mean just sitting back in your easy chair listening to us having all the fun. I mean throwing back your head, opening up your hearts and singing as loud or as pretty as you know how. Gang singing is a lot more fun than you’ll ever know unless you give it a whirl sometime. So come on now, join me in ‘The First Noel’. If you don’t know the words well, hum a little, tap your feet or gee whiz, do something!”
At the points in my life when troubles seem to overwhelm me or life in general becomes a chore, I recall the joyful celebrations of King David, Miriam, Mary and others. I read their songs of joy and remember the gift of life God has given us. I turn on the happiest song I think of and boogie with all my might to God’s goodness.
Something tells me God watching us boogie in our kitchen while we cook dinner makes God laugh. And when the joy becomes so large that it spills into the streets of our community, then we become messengers of the good news. God made life to be lived with a smile. Let us glorify God in every way we can and allow our hearts to fill with God’s goodness.
If you cannot dance, “hum a little, tap your feet, or gee whiz, do something” to show the joy in your heart.
Kyle Hite is senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Greenwood. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.