My third post on topics ranging from holidays to the glory of a woman’s hair (and a man’s if it looks good!) to the pregnant girl who sat in front of me in senior English class.
Sometimes after bath time we allow Micah to go diaperless. He enjoys this freedom, the cool air caressing his baby booty and producing a fresh buoyancy. Without the constriction of a bulky diaper, he runs around aimlessly, not caring where he’s going as much as how long he can go for.
At some point childlike innocence regresses into shame, like Adam and Eve when they discovered their nakedness. Consequently, many of us search our entire lives for the best fig leaves to cover ourselves, all the while growing in our self-consciousness. But worshiping Jesus consists of becoming less self-conscious and more aware of our Savior.
David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. … And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment. —2 Samuel 6:5,14 NLT
(Castanets? Awesome! I can hear the flamenco guitars now.)
Israel’s great king, David was an unashamed worshiper. Forgetting the propriety expected of a king and forsaking his royal robes, David danced in a simple “linen ephod” (ESV), which was worn by priests in the fulfillment of their duties. In that moment, David regarded himself not as the most powerful leader in the region but as a servant of God. He became less cognizant of himself and more aware of God.
If you’re thinking you’d like to break out your best impression of the Lord of the Dance, know that whenever you worship uninhibitedly there will always be onlookers who don’t appreciate the resplendence of a child of God running around joyously without, in essence, a diaper. (Maybe their stodginess is due to the constraint of their own overloaded diapers.) David’s own wife chided his lack of propriety, relating him to a Chip ‘n Dale dancer:
When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!” —2 Samuel 6:20 NLT
It seems Michal preferred David to act more like a king and less like a worshiper.
Religion won’t allow PDA
If a woman has long hair, it is her glory. —1 Corinthians 11:15 ESV
The woman I mentioned last Friday who anointed Jesus’ feet encountered religious leaders who disdained her act of worship. In their minds, she further corroborated what they knew about her. See, for a woman to kiss another man was scandalous, let alone a presumed prophet. Add to it that she let down her hair in public, a grossly immodest act and even a ground for divorce. But having wet his feet with her tears and wanting to dry them, she used what she had available. No liturgy, no preprogrammed services, no songs, no organ or electric guitar. She didn’t even have a worship leader.
This woman, notorious for her sexual indiscrimination, covered Jesus’ feet with her hair, that intimate aspect of her body, and thus incited the ire of the religious leaders who probably deemed it a sexual act. Was she capable of anything else? But Jesus perceived her heart, and known himself for disregarding decorum, he allowed her expression of worship.
Men, I need to stress this: an aspect of our becoming more like Jesus is how we look at women, not as sexual objects but as daughters and sisters we are to defend. It’s important to understand that most women who are promiscuous have, as a part of their history, contributing factors of abuse and neglect.
We don’t know much about this woman. Did she have a dad? How many young women search fruitlessly for the affirmation their fathers never provided? They go looking for a man but find only boys, not man enough to protect them but instead take advantage of their vulnerability. The religious leaders viewed the woman as a sexual object, but Jesus saw a broken, abused, and neglected child tossed from man to man like trash. She wasn’t trash to him, though. She was beautiful.
On Wednesday, I’ll talk about how we see those ensnared in sin and how Jesus saw them.
For now I wonder, like the woman, do you ever become so lost in worship that you lose sight of those around you, your focus solely on Jesus? When you sense a desire to stretch out your arms in worshipful abandon, a desire likely implanted by the Holy Spirit, do you cower in self-consciousness or respond in obedience? Does anything prevent you from employing physical expressions of worship like clapping, singing, raising hands, bowing, even dancing?
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