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
BY Ellen Taylor
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.