Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Keeping The Party Alive

Written by: Dcs. Heidi Goehmann, Reading Time:  3 minutes A well known fact in our congregation is that my husband and I love to dance.  I remember one of the first weddings my husband did.  It was hot, middle of July-no-air-conditioning-in-the-church-hot.  We all would have been happy with bologna sandwiches at the reception, because of the cool sweet blowing air coming from magical vents in the ceiling.  I think everyone attributed our dance moves to sweet air-conditioned rejoicing, but we shut the dance floor down.  At the next wedding reception, people started to comment. “Enjoying yourselves?!” “Look at you go!  So much fun!” And my personal favorite… “Wow! You guys can really ‘cut a rug’!” Heidi-Wedding-(3)Dave and I are naturally less inhibited in one another’s company.  Something about having someone that loves you so wholeheartedly brings out the party simmering on the inside.  But give us a dance floor and we crank it to a whole new level. Now, do not be mistaken.  We have no real moves.  I mean we barely have pretend moves.  We have a tiny bit of rhythm.  And in college we took a 6 session class on ballroom dancing, but we are in no way even worthy of watching “So You Think You Can Dance.” What we do have is a lot of joy.  And it’s not just average run of the mill joy, it’s Jesus in the midst of His people joy.  I think one of the reasons wedding receptions are so exciting for us, is that we are elated to be allowed into these people’s lives.  It is a sheer blessing to not only witness new love, but to be a part of building it up for the months before the wedding, and to look forward to the years to come of new homes, tiny babies, joy and heartache and just to be a part of it and experience it together.  What a life we have! Psalm 149 is chock full of this kind of Joy… “Praise the Lord!      Sing to the Lord a new song,        his praise in the assembly of the godly!      Let Israel be glad in his Maker;        let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!      Let them praise His name with dancing,        making melody to Him with tambourine and lyre!      For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;        He adorns the humble with salvation.      Let the godly exult in glory;        let them sing for joy on their beds.      Let the high praises of God be in their throats        and two-edged swords in their hands,      to execute vengeance on the nations        and punishment on the peoples,      to bind their kings with chains        and their nobles with fetters of iron,      to execute on them the judgement written!        This is honor for all his godly ones.      Praise the Lord!” Isn’t He just so worthy? Matthew Henry tells us in his commentary his “guess” that this psalm of praise was “penned upon occasion of some victory.”  I love that.  Some victory.  Life is full of random little victories, pieced together, and we are blessed as believers to be the ones who can look victory in the face and say “That’s Jesus.  Right there.  That’s Jesus.” Weddings, babies, graduations, new ideas, a meal well served, time spent in refreshing conversation that builds up, words tamped down and spoken carefully instead of with unconstrained rage, getting to church on time with 4 small people in tow.  Some victory. There are so many things in life worth dancing and praising about.  David danced before the Lord (2 Samuel 6).  Miriam and the women dance before Him after crossing through the Red Sea (Exodus 15).  Israel mourning is promised to turned to dancing (Jeremiah 31). All of these dances, completely and utterly communal.  I love to dance it up in my house while I’m dusting as much as the next girl, but there is nothing like sharing the joy, sharing the victories of life, with the Body. What victories have lead you to dance in Joy?  Who have you gotten to share with?  What victories this day, or this week, can you celebrate before the Lord in praise? We have these friends that we have cried and laughed with, made life decisions with at 3am on our kitchen floor.  These friends have held our babies as they’re baptized and while they threw up in a toilet one Christmas Eve.  There is a song that plays on our local Christian radio station.  It isn’t your average praise song.  This is a dance song by artists that love Jesus and want to make clean dance music.  This song is so much a part of the fabric of our friendship that we still use the phrase “keepin’ the party alive” for any time we plan to get together.  These relationships-sheer victory in the Lord.  What would life be like without those around us to celebrate the victories, and hold us in our sorrows?  They are Christ to us, walking around, offering a hand to hold, and dancing the night away in Praise. Keep the party alive, girl.  Keep the party alive in Him. This series is part of the Grace Place Wellness Ministries Online Bible Study, Casting Away Stones, on Ecclesiastics 3.  If you would like to see more of this study, please go to: I Love My Shepherd Blog