Worship Through Celebration

Open Your Bible

Exodus 23:14-17, 2 Samuel 6:1-23, Acts 2:46-47, Revelation 19:6-9, 1 Corinthians 10:31

When I was seven or eight, I went to a Vacation Bible School with one of my friends. Her church was huge, much bigger than the one I attended every Sunday with my parents, and VBS was the biggest event of the summer. I remember being in awe throughout the morning session, which was complete with flashing lights, teenagers-turned-VBS-couselors performing skits on stage, and a David Crowder song based on part of the NIV translation of 2 Samuel 6:22: “I will become even more undignified than this.” The first few lyrics of the song are forever etched in my memory. I can still picture hundreds of kids jumping around the room singing: “I will dance, I will sing, to be mad for my King. / Nothing, Lord, is hindering this passion in my soul…” That’s the first time that I remember feeling like worship was a celebration.

Celebration occurs all throughout Scripture—beautiful examples of people being reminded, and in turn, reminding one another, of who God is and what He has done. In Exodus 23, the Israelites are given specific instructions to celebrate throughout the year as a reminder of what God had done for them. And in Acts 2, we get a glimpse into how the early Church celebrated when they met together to praise God.

In 2 Samuel 6, we read about the all-out worship of King David before his God. He was “leaping and dancing before the LORD” (v.16), celebrating the arrival of the ark of the covenant in Jerusalem. However, his wife, Michal, thought his celebration was undignified and dishonoring. But David kept on celebrating, telling her, “I will dance before the LORD, and I will dishonor myself and humble myself even more” (vv.21–22).

Since that morning at VBS, I’ve worshiped through celebration countless times. Any time we are gathered with other people to rejoice in what God has done or is doing in our lives, we worship and honor our God. Sometimes that takes the form of worship as we normally think of it, as singing, praying, and rejoicing, And sometimes, it can look a little different, like an outright, good ole celebration—birthday dinners and wedding receptions, baptisms and showers.

It’s important to remember that celebration can be a form of worship—a response to who God is and what He has done. And when we remember all that He has done for us, of course our response should be celebration! We have received grace upon grace in Christ, and that is worth celebrating.

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34 thoughts on "Worship Through Celebration"

  1. Leslie Green-Starr says:

    Amen, amen and amen again!!!!!!!

  2. Mikayla Andrews says:

    I think it’s important to remember it doesn’t matter what our worship looks like to others. David was accused of dishonoring and defiling when he was dancing for the Lord but he, in that moment, knew his form of worship was a celebration and thanksgiving for the blessings. No matter how it looked to others, he humbled himself and kept worshiping. Often people are too worried about how they look all the time to others, imagine so confidently worshiping God and being completely humble through it.

  3. Penelope Cano says:

    This weeks reading was so perfect and I know God made it so. I am going to a worship night with my youth group and sometimes as young people we are scared of what other people will think but we should be like King David and humble ourselves. Worship like it doesn’t matter who is watching. Celebrate our amazing king!!!

  4. Elizabeth Dawson says:

    “We have received grace upon grace through Christ, and that is worth celebrating” Lord, give me a heart of undignified celebration to glorify you!

  5. Heather Hull says:


  6. Michelle M says:

    I so enjoyed reading all the scriptures chosen for this day and considering the times and ways God desires for us to worship Him in celebration. I particularly have always been struck by David’s example in a Samuel. The “Undignified” song has been a favorite of mine since it was first released. I think it should be mentioned (or corrected) that the song was written by Matt Redman (who is one of my favorite He Reads Truth writers!), Although David Crowder did cover it. The lyrics are challenging to my heart and mind. I’m thankful for song writers who purposely intend to write Biblical and theologically sound words for us to memorize and offer in worship to God, and who’s lyrics are appropriate for celebratory worship!

  7. Alison McHugh says:

    This teacher goes back to work next week and we’re celebrating our family and God’s blessings and grace this week at Disney. This reminded me that celebrating anything, anywhere is an act of worship if you turn towards God in the midst of it.

  8. Janice says:


  9. Ashley Thomas says:

    My sister, Mary Kay, went home from the hospital today. While it seems like good news, she still has so much recovery ahead of her. I wish she was in the hospital recovering where she would be closely monitored instead of at home. Her husband had to take so much time off work, and since he is the sole provider, he has had to go back to work (they have 5 kids). I am praying for God to heal her.

    1. Nikki Falvey says:

      Praying for your sister and her family, Ashley.

  10. Angie says:

    Just wanted to send prayers and well wishes to all the teachers here! I had my own classroom for 2 years, now that I have my own kids I substitute in their schools, so I see the daily trials that teachers go through! May God grant you peace, wisdom, and a passion to reach his children this year. And thank you for all that you do!

  11. Melissa Graves says:

    Praying for the teachers in our midst. Thank you for your sacrifices and commitment to your calling!

  12. Chris Swan says:

    Prayers for all our teachers! As a retired teacher who now has the pleasure of continuing my love of teaching and young people in the Pregnancy Resource Ministry!! God bless us as we bless his children!

  13. Beth Hackworth says:

    What a gift to me today…on my 40th birthday! I celebrate all God has done in me, thru me and around me. Challenges surround me but my God is bigger then any circumstance or challenge. I will worship Him today through celebration!

  14. Courtney says:

    I concur, Churchmouse! Amen!

  15. Mindy says:

    I am so sorry. I am so so sorry. I don’t always see who is who and what is what. It has all been so confusing for me. Why would all of you do this? I just don’t understand. I literally cannot cry like this each day!!
    Why would God love me like this ?
    Shocker.. I am stumbling with my words.
    Thank you. Which again does not seem to be enough. I still am a bit confused with everything but I will try the best I can. I did get pretty upset yesterday and then I start to get a bit mean.: :/

  16. Shawn Parks says:

    Yesterday I saw the “Jesus” performance at Sight and Sound theater. Three times during the show I found myself holding back tears. I was actually consciously trying to keep myself from letting the tears stream down my face, but I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit remind me that God loves true worship—and tears of joy welled up in my eyes as “Jesus” entered Jerusalem down the center aisle on a white donkey with dozens of actors and actresses shouting “Hosanna!” waving their scarves and their palms and celebrating His arrival, I let the tears flow. The show was such a stunning reminder for me of God’s great love for us and His determination to rescue us from sin and ourselves—and that, dear sisters, is something to celebrate!

  17. Shawn Parks says:

    Yesterday I attended the “Jesus” performance at Sight and Sound

  18. Bermudabeth says:

    I can’t praise God and not raise my hands in praise, there were years when I didn’t understand but God patiently taught this quiet woman what it was all about and I am so thankful. He is making the woman He wants me to be even in my old age. I love the way He teaches us all to worship differently. I must laugh as He knows I can’t sing and clap at the same time it isn’t a pretty sight.

    1. Elizabrth Carlock says:

      Amen. I feel the same way that God must smile as I try to clap in rhythm while he knows I’m not very good at it. But I keep trying.

  19. Diana Degnan says:

    These comments today speak right into my heart. Diverse ways we worship the Lord. In weakness his power is made perfect. But our Praise belongs to Him. Thank you Lord for the blessing of being teacher tired. In the morning, afternoon and evening thank you Lord.

  20. Laura says:

    Angie, sometimes I sense the comments are God-ordained and meant especially for me. I, too, am a teacher, and also feel both the calling and the weariness. Everything in your post is a reflection of how I feel and the journey God has led me on. I’m praying that we can all run with endurance the race marked out for us. Thank you, once again, for a beautiful message spoken from the heart.

  21. Angie says:

    I do the right things to worship God through celebration.
    I have people in to our home pretty often.
    My birthday and Christmas gifts are meaningful and well thought out to try to bless the person.
    And, I love, deeply, purely.
    But there is not usually a celebration going on in my soul.
    Why? I think I am a Martha.

    It wasn’t always this way. I was definitely a Mary years ago. As a young women and at-home mom I was Little Miss Sunshine, and it was natural, real, me.
    I spent my days loving on children – really, loving everyone, working at my church, and studying the Word.
    Now days I spend a lot of time in Jesus’ arms, resting, worn, and tired.

    God called me into teaching, if I shared the journey that brought me to this place you would nod your head in agreement, He made it very clear, this is my calling.
    But, chaos can erupt very quickly when you’ve got 20-30 little bodies of energy packed into a room all day.
    I feel like my life is spent pressing in a little information (both academic and emotional/social), allowing small bursts of joy to squeak out, pressing in more information, finding ways to allow the joy without chaos, and it is wearing.
    Monitoring and guiding, guiding and monitoring, all day long.
    Add to that administrators and state/government officials who continue to pour more and more expectations, testing, and responsibilities, and I can become overwhelmed before I even start.
    And yet, I love the children, love, love, love them.
    Genuinely, purely love them.
    My heart goes out to them.
    I feel for and care about their parents.
    My heart goes out to them as well.
    I cherish the moments and memories.
    But sometimes, I get so tired.

    Today is the first day with students in a new school year.
    Like Ashley P. and Emma (I am praying for you ladies, Shawn Parks too, right!) I can become overwhelmed.
    But, I am trying to lay it down.
    I am asking Jesus to help me trust Him for the results.
    I am asking Him to be my strength and guide.
    I am asking Him to balance the Martha and Mary in me in a way that honors and glorifies Him.
    I am remembering His care over every detail in the past and claiming it for each day.

    Lots and lots of former students stopped in at Open House.
    Oh what a blessing to see them.
    What a celebration…in the midst of monitoring and guiding my new students and parents.
    Relax, breathe, trust God, and be His Light shining brightly today, tomorrow, at home, or at work
    and thankful.
    Ready to worship
    Celebrating His goodness and grace

    1. Lara Castillo says:

      Angie, I am also a teacher, and your words capture my feelings as well. I will be praying for all of us who begin a new year every August/September. I consider my work my ministry, but it is so wearying at times. I am praying to serve Him in a way that honors Him and furthers His work in my little corner of the world.

    2. Shawn Parks says:

      Angie, God bless the work He has called you to do! I give the hard work over to the Lord each morning and ask Him to save them, as I cannot, to teach them as I cannot, and love them as I cannot! He is faithful and has given me so many opportunities to celebrate His faithfulness each day! Have a miraculous school year!

    3. Ashley P. says:

      Beautifully said! You brought tears to my eyes. I usually have a celebration in my soul before the school year begins as I’m filled with hope and excitement. Once inservice begins (for me it’ll begin next Tuesday), the celebration often quickly turns to anxiety, which turns to feeling constantly overwhelmed as the year progresses. I desire for this year to be radically different. I’ve spent much time this summer in prayer, worship, and studying the Word, and my soul feels…renewed. I’m listening to John Mark Comer’s series on Sabbath from January (I highly recommend it—he’s the pastor at Bridgetown in Portland) and am feeling like God is calling me to begin to practice the sabbath as a way to fight against the stress and be able to refresh my soul each and every week like a mini summer. I’m praying that’ll spill over into my work and fill me with peace even in the midst of the crazy. And I’m praying for you, Angie, as well as my other SRT teacher sisters! May we have a year of celebrating all God has done and praising him for who he is, finding rest in peace amidst the chaos and overwhelming responsibilities, and may we have a spring of joy overflowing in our hearts each day. ❤️

    4. Megan McDaniel says:

      I am a teacher too! And teaching can be EXHAUSTING! So emotionally and mentally demanding— but SO spiritually rewarding and worth. it. all. Just know that assessments, administration, etc. are just the details. When you put a bandaid on a paper cut, give a big bear hug to a child that hasn’t had a hug in a long time, or provide a snack to a child that is low on food in their pantry at home, you are adding stars to your crown sister. Literally— it will all be worth it when you hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Keep on for the glory of His name. Your efforts are not in vain!

  22. Churchmouse says:

    No more worship wars please. Might we be gracious towards various worship celebrations. Some celebrate the Lord with lifted hands. Some celebrate the Lord with heads bowed, eyes closed, hands folded. Some celebrate the Lord with clapping hands and dancing feet. Some celebrate the Lord with drums and guitars. Some celebrate the Lord with pipe organ and violin. Some celebrate the Lord with hymns and some with praise choruses. The family of God is diverse. Styles and preferences of worship abound. Let us celebrate our diversity. Regardless of how our worship looks, let it always be a sincere celebration of our God. Whether we kneel or dance, whether we shout or whisper, let our God be praised and worshiped. Let us always be united in this, doing everything for the glory of God. Amen!

    1. Leigh AnneAkey says:

      I love your comment about “let it (our worship) all be a sincere celebration of our God.” It is easy to get caught up in the moment and to forget the reasons that we are celebrating Him.

    2. Gina Glennon says:

      Yes, in spirit and truth. Worship styles may vary but not God’s truth. That is a constant.

    3. Susan Merritt says:

      I completely agree with this comment. Find honor and amazement when others worship differently than what we expect to be the norm. I feel inspired every time I see someone worshipping God in a different way than I do but there was a time when I looked upon different worship with judging eyes. Thanks be to God who opened up my eyes to see that all of His souls are precious no matter how they worship.

    4. Samara Smith says:

      Well said, Churchmouse! Your comments are always a blessing to me!

    5. Nikki Falvey says:

      Yes! I second this! Let us not be Michals but David’s, whatever that looks like for us.

    6. Suzie McRae says:

      Yes, less judgement towards the varying forms of worship!❤️