This morning, glad to be back to my morning task with a functional computer, I am happy to see the selection from the Second Book of Samuel.
Then David, girt with a linen apron, came dancing before the Lord with abandon as he and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts of joy to the sound of the horn.
I love that image of a king, a high official, a man dancing with abandon because of his love and devotion to God. When was the last time, I ask myself, that I saw that kind of wild abandon in church? And it was not a solo dance; “all the house of Israel” joined in his procession. I think of how hesitant most Americans are to join in this kind of celebrative ritual – maybe not in a nightclub but certainly we are more “proper” in our church services most, if not all, of the time.
There is for me a subtle connection to the gospel for today as well. The clue is the invitation to all to join in the dance – for David the nation of Israel, but for Jesus even a wider population. When someone comes to him to say that his relatives are outside asking for him, he says something that seems harsh but is rather more expansive. He asks and then answers his own question.
Who are my mother and my brothers? Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me.
Jesus is not rejecting his family here but rather taking us to a deeper level of consciousness. We ought to recognize this easily since we have taken to greeting our faith communities as “my brothers and sisters” as we address them in preaching or praying together. Jesus is calling us to see everyone as related and thereby to assume some responsibility for our part in the family of humanity. In a song by Lori True, we hear the repeated question, “What have we done for…the poor ones, the lonely, the hungry, the children, the…” and the refrain continues: “God’s chosen people, lost and forsaken, what have we done for the poor ones here in our midst?”
All of this calls me today to be mindful of the deeper sense in which we are all connected and to express my gratitude to the God who calls us to oneness with a joy that is not based on outside circumstances but on the recognition of the boundless love that is our unity.