Bow, Kneel, and Dance!

Tammy De Ruyter

READ : Psalm 95:1-7

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! (v. 2)

A mass of people thronged into the tiny, one-room chapel. The praise band struck the first lively notes and the music was off and running. Soon, 500 people swayed up and down in a joyful, charismatic two-step with hands raised and faces turned upward. The band slowed the tempo, the dancing ceased, and a wave of reverence washed over the congregation. Some knelt, some bowed, some wept.

The writer of Psalm 95 might have enjoyed this worship service. The psalmist seems to leap with exuberant joy in appreciation for his great God and King. Clearly, for the psalmist, an integral connection exists between the spiritual, physical, and emotional. He offers us—even challenges us with—an invitation to participate in demonstrative worship, worship that involves heart, voice, and body.

My home church is more “traditional” by mainline North American standards. Dancing would seem out-of-place, perhaps even irreverent. Worship can be felt deeply yet expressed differently among various congregations. Formal and informal churches have much to learn from one another. Both have their place, but both miss the mark if hearts are not tuned to the Spirit of God. Whatever your style, worship the Lord with heartfelt praise!


Lord God, we give you ALL that we are—body, soul, mind, and spirit.