October 31, 2010

God's Divine Dance

Zephaniah 3:14-17

“The LORD your God … will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17


A well-known catechism says we were made “to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” I think I know how to glorify God; I’m not so sure I know how to enjoy him. Fear God, respect God, worship God, give thanks to God—yes. Enjoy him? I have to learn how to do that better.

Might God enjoy us? God forgives us, watches over us, sometimes punishes us, always blesses us. But might he enjoy us too?

Zephaniah says that one day, when we are pure and healthy and full of life (as God created us to be), God will express his delight in us by singing! Can you imagine what that performance will be like! One Bible version translates Zephaniah 3:17 this way: “He will dance with shouts of joy for you” (Jerusalem Bible). Have you ever thought of God dancing with joy—for us?

Jesus’ parable of the lost son gives us a picture of the amazing grace of God our Father (Luke 15:11-32). In the parable, when the father sees his rebellious son returning home, he runs toward him, throws his arms around him, and kisses him. The father is that excited to welcome his son home.

Our heavenly Father—indeed, all heaven—rejoices over every sinner who repents (see Luke 15:7, 10, 24, 32). Imagine the celebration when the Lord comes to live among us forever! (See Revelation 21-22.)

Heavenly Father, we’re not used to thinking of you singing or dancing over us. May we, in Christ, learn to delight in you as you already delight in us! Amen.

About the author — Harvey Stob

Rev. Harvey Stob and his wife, Audrey, served as missionaries in Argentina for eleven years. They then served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Harvey retired from full-time pastoral work in 2009. He and Audrey have three children and seven grandchildren.

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