Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | September 11, 2013

September 11, 2013 “Acceptable Worship”

“As the ark of the covenant of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David dancing and celebrating, she despised him in her heart.” (1 Chronicles 15:29)

Good Morning Fellow Worshipers of the Living God!

Throughout my thirty-eight years of pastoral ministry, I have been afforded the opportunity to pastor fifteen churches in nine different states. I’ve met all sorts of wonderful people and forged many lasting relationships. While on this ministerial journey, I discovered that different people choose to express their worship of God in different ways. Some are serious and solemn. Some are exuberant and expressive. Some raise their head and hands in joyous celebration, while others bow in reverence and awe. Regarding particular worship expressions, it’s not an “either/or” proposition as to which is ‘acceptable”, but a “both/and” reality. In this passage, King David has returned the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, symbolically reestablishing the Lord God as the focus of worship rather than false gods and idols. It’s return is accompanied by “with shouts, with the sounding of ram’s horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and the playing of lyres and harps.” It’s a raucous celebration. King David himself is dancing and celebrating, much to the disdain of Michal, daughter of the former king, Saul. In fact, we learn that upon seeing this display of David’s unbridled enthusiastic worship, that “she despised him in her heart.” David was willing to appear “foolish” in the eyes of some people in order to wholeheartedly worship God. In contrast, Michal was so thoroughly appalled by his display that she could not rejoice in the Ark’s return. Under the reign of her father, Saul, worship had become stilted and ritualistic. While she could accept David as a military commander and even as king, she could not accept his free and spontaneous expressions of praise.

Have you ever felt that way about someone whose worship style varies from your own? Many of us grew up in what might be called a more “dignified” worship environment. tradition demands a certain decorum. When someone comes along and ‘disrupts” such familiarity, we may be tempted to look upon such displays as “inappropriate”. Some devoted people may look foolish to us in their heartfelt expressions of worship, but we should accept them. In the same way, we should not be reticent to worship God with whatever expressions seem appropriate to us.. When it comes from the heart, God is pleased, and it is His approval, after all, that truly matters! Let’s pray!

Gracious Loving God: As we bring our prayers of praise, thanksgiving, intercession, and confession, we also bring you the worship of our hearts. teach us to understand that there are many ways to delight your heart. Just as we delight in the uniqueness of our own children and their spontaneous expressions of love towards us, so You take delight in each one of us as well. Understanding this, let us rejoice with one another in Your Holy presence this, and every day! Amen!

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