Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Not a tame lion...

One of the Narnian mantras: Aslan is not a tame lion.

I've been having a wee think about Sunday worship - boy, it comes around quickly! This week we're focusing on 2 Samuel 6: 1-5, 12b-19, in which a great big praise party is happening, and David dances as if nobody's watching: unselfconsciously, joyfully, exuberantly. He is pretty much naked before God, allowing himself to be vulnerable and exposed not just in the physical sense... also exposed to potential ridicule. But there's such delight in his dancing and celebrating and underpinning it, a sense of awe of the untamed, uncontainable God he worships.
It's made me think about Annie Dillard once more and her great observation about how we as Christians are nearly too blase in the way we invoke the Holy One.

Are we guilty of trying to tame God?

Have we turned God into a routine rather than Ground of our Being?
Do we get a little caught up in our focus with how we might appear, rather than being whole-heartedly open to the wild and exuberant Creator of the Universe?
Of course, there are certain societal and legal niceties we have to take into consideration: I don't think I'm quite advocating that we all get naked in church!!! Plus, in Scotland, it's just too cold anyway.... But maybe, our nakedness can be in the shape of vulnerable openness to God - expectation that the wild God who is always with us may want to dance with us.
Are our dance cards already filled, or have we left them empty, waiting with eager anticipation to dance with God?


Stewart Goudie said...

Nice post! I agree that we have sanitised God too much. Created an image of Him with which we can be comfortable. It turns worship into a tame experience!
Look at those folk who push themselves to the edge of death to experience the thrill of life! The free-climbers, racing bikes or cars, flying into space, etc.
I like Matt Redman's song, 'I will dance, I will sing, To be mad for my king, Nothing, Lord, is hindering the passion in my soul.
And I'll become even more undignified than this
(some would say its foolishness but) I'll become even more undignified than this!
Let's let out the passion!

MaineCelt said...

Thanks for this post. Very helpful as I wrestle with my own sermon-crafting! In regard to the 2 Samual passage, I noticed several commentators describing David's fashion statement as something akin to "a shirtless guy with nothing under his kilt."