A Jesus Freak’s Thanksgiving

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 12.35.27 PM“And so it was, that when the bearers of the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod.” ~2 Samuel 6:13-14 (NASB)

So you’re sitting quietly at your spot in the sanctuary and some dude all of sudden goes running up to the front and starts dancing before the congregation in his underwear. Your reaction is:

  1. To cast your gaze to the floor and escape the scene
  2. Gasp in absolute appalment but keep staring in hopes it stops soon…real soon
  3. In a loud voice demand this person be contained and possibly arrested
  4. Get up outta your seat and join in the may-lay in hopes others will do likewise

Now I am quite sure many of you out there haven’t had to worry about this happening too much in your church, after all, you’re all civilized worshippers of YHVH. So if this hasn’t happened in your church yet I guess the Spirit of our LORD is surely on His way to have you all be “slain in the Spirit” …maybe…possibly…I’m stretching this ain’t I?

However, King David had that childlike joy of the LORD early on during his reign of Israel. Even if his wife was appalled by his demonstration of joy by being able to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. David didn’t care, he was closer to his God then he ever was before. That enough was reason for thanksgiving by performing an interpretive dance in the BVD’s of his time. I would dare to call David our first “Jesus Freak” because he seemed to not care what others thought of him, he cared what YHVH thought of him—even if it meant looking silly in the process.

There’s another story of someone who danced with joy about coming close to Jesus. Pastor Richard Wurmbrand (a man imprisoned at various times for his faith by Soviet communists between 1956-1964 and founder of “The Voice of the Martyrs”) tells a story of a Russian captain who longed after God but never seen a Bible. The captain had never been to a service, he had no religious education but loved God without having the slightest knowledge of who He really is. But after this captain hears Pastor Wurmbrand share the Sermon on the Mount with him, he breaks out in dance. “What a wonderful beauty! How could I live without knowing this Christ?”

But then Pastor Wurmbrand tells the captain of Christ’s crucifixion without bracing him for impact. He tells him how he was beaten, nailed to The Cross and died there. The captain fell into an armchair and began to weep believing that our Savior was truly dead. The Pastor said it was like seeing Mary Magdalene weeping at the foot of The Cross and again at the empty tomb. Then Pastor Wurmbrand tells the captain the story of the resurrection. When he heard this the captain began to shout, “He is alive, He is alive” and suddenly, with unspeakable joy and an overwhelming happiness the captain began to, once again, dance around the room.

They both fell to their knees and the captain, not knowing any holy words prayed this, “O God, what a fine chap You are! If I were You and You were me, I would have never forgiven You Your sins. But You are really a very nice chap! I love You with all my heart.”

As we approach the Thanksgiving table may we come with a childlike joy for what was really done for us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Pastor Wurmbrand would go on to say maybe all the angels stopped what they were doing to hear this captain’s simple prayer. I hope that is the case for all of us. That we be as simple and contrite when we go to prayer with our families, friends and strangers that we will encounter over the Thanksgiving holiday. And if King David just happens to show up in his linen ephod just humbly ask him if he could please pass the stuffing and the gravy…how about lettin’ me in the group you call “The Mighty Men”? Maybe? Cool…Amen? Happy Thanksgiving to all you Freedom Fighters young and old!!

Written by Chris Hughes, Colony grad of 11-2003, serves on the deacon board at Trinity Alliance Church in Cologne NJ.

The Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chron. 15-16; Luke 7:31-50

Think About This: “A Jesus Freak whose joy overflows is a puzzling thing to a watching world. But that’s not a bad thing. Let your light make’em curious! Let people see your peace under pressure and wonder what your secret is.” ~DC Talk

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint ~Isaiah 40:31

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