And it was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. And when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn. II Samuel 6:12-15 ESV
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. Psalm 149:1-4 ESV
In 1945 World War II, a horrible, devastating war that involved much of the world, came to an end. All around the world there were celebrations and parades. In Sydney, Australia cameras caught a man dancing in the middle of the street for the joy of the ending of the war, while church bells rang, children ran down the street happily, and the newspaper headline said, “Peace!” It was a very happy day, and dancing was part of the celebration.
When David brought the ark home to Jerusalem, he also danced down the street. It was a day of joy and celebration for everyone. There was music and shouting and a parade and sacrifices to God. Bringing the ark into David’s capital city was a way of bringing God’s rule into the center of David’s reign. God would be with David and give him his help and strength, and all the people would be blessed if they kept God at the center of their life as a people.
We also know joy when God is in our lives. Our joy is in Jesus, who came to save us from sin and death. We had been separated from God because of our sins, but Jesus took our sins to the cross and paid for them there. He rose again from the dead the first Easter morning, and conquered the power of death and evil. Through Jesus, we are no longer God’s enemies, but rather at peace with God, and he sends us his Holy Spirit to help us follow his ways. No troubles or sadness we have can take away the joy we have because of Jesus.
Dear Jesus, thank you for making us your people and giving us joy. Amen.