Dancing in the Moonlight
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 (ESV)
I watched her, gorgeous and tall in her ivory jumpsuit, four-inch heels with ankle-straps, brown hair flowing almost in slow motion. Unbridled joy filled her face as she danced within the circle of teenagers, the music from the wedding DJ lifting the dancers as they clapped and spun in circles, faces and arms lifted high.
Occasionally her husband would face her, pumping arms to the beat, before moving off to dance alongside others.
It was a free-form dance party to celebrate Hannah and Foster on their wedding night. For hours, the head-phoned DJ carefully overlapped one song into the next as Diane would cry out, “This is my favorite song!” Elise would laugh, “They are all your favorite songs!” And Chad’s youngest son would pogo in the center of the circle with glee.
We women spend weeks preparing for celebration – of any kind. “What are you going to wear?” we ask each other. We buy the dress, we try on the shoes, we make time for the mani-pedi, and we look in the magnified mirror to apply the eye-liner.
As we take our seats for the wedding, we casually spy out our favorite dresses on the other birds fluttering around us. “Did you see her copper lace with the rhinestones shimmering in the sunlight?” Jane asks me. “Did you see her purse with the feathers?”
Days later, my thoughts wander back to the weekend of celebration and the image of my beautiful new friend Jen. I was mesmerized by her; watching her reach out to pull one after another of the other dancers into her sphere for a moment. She was magical, not because of all of the pretty paint on the surface, but by this joy for life that exploded out of her. She wore a smile that ignited from a beautiful heart.
Floating around on the edge of my mind is a familiar declaration,
“I have come that you may have abundant life…” (John 10:10)
Celebration and feasting, sparkling dresses and dancing in the moonlight. We don’t often equate such things with God, but we should. I remember that God’s first miracle was where? A wedding celebration. One that had been going on for, well, days, right? When the wine ran out, Jesus had the servants fill the six large jars of water used for ceremonial washing to the brim – abundance – and the Master of the Banquet was surprised with the sweetness, the goodness of the new wine. Where there was emptiness, Jesus stepped in to fill the void with abundance. And that first sip of the wedding wine revealed God’s glory. (John 2:1-12)
Jesus not only started his ministry with a miracle at a wedding feast, but he also told the famous parable of the father who threw a feast to celebrate the return home of his wandering son. “Quick!” he called out. “Bring the finest robe, a ring for his finger, sandals for his feet! For this son of mine who was dead has returned to life!” This is our God – He watches for our arrival on the horizon. He greets us with His embrace. (Luke 15:11-31)
Oh, yes, I think our God is a lavish God. A God who celebrates. Who engraves invitations to a feast. Who opens the doors and invites all who would enter, to sit at the table. His angels rejoice in heaven. He prepares banquets for us in the presence of our enemies. He provides clothing of the finest linen. He fills us with light that spills out into the world around us. In His presence is joy.
Do you often think of God as the Master of the Feast, the Creator of Celebration?
English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.