David brought the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. And David dance before the LORD with all his might. (2 Samuel 6:12-14 NRSV excerpt, part of this coming Sunday’s lectionary texts)

Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might, Scripture tells us.

The witness of David teaches us also: Dance before the LORD with all your might.

Dance before the LORD with all your might — not because the journey was easy (cf: the death of Uzzah) but because God has remained present and the people have been fed generously. (2 Samuel 6:19)

Dance before the LORD with all your might — not because your faith has been perfect, but because God has loved you from the beginning and knows you as holy & blameless. (Ephesians 1:4)

dance-2024560_640Dance before the LORD with all your might — not because the world has repented of its violences but because God still speaks peace to the people. (Psalm 85:8)

Dance before the LORD with all your might — not because the priests and politicians of the world are righteous, but because there are still a few by whom God is revealing a plumb line to right injustices. (Amos 7:7-15)

Dance before the LORD with all your might — not because Creation is healed from pollutants and the people redeemed from toxins, but because the earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it. (Psalm 24:1)

Sidebar: Don’t dance before kings like Herodias (Mark 6:15-29) — trading your success for another’s life, valuing men’s (yes, men’s, and rich men at that) comfort over the discomfort of truth. Yes, it relates to the dancing theme of the 2 Samuel text, but no, pleasing men to get your way (or requiring someone else to dance to keep those in privilege satisfied) is not a way to dance before the LORD.

Dance before the LORD with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.

What themes, trajectories, and questions are your sermons finding in their early planning stages, dear friends and colleagues? What Revised Common Lectionary texts are you planning to use this Sunday? What sermonizing wisdom do you seek — and can you share — with one another this week?

Add your questions & conversation & links in the comments!


Rachel G. Hackenberg‘s new book, Denial Is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith) with co-author Martha Spong, includes reflections on trauma and PTSD … as well as more humorous stories of church nurseries, memories of grandmothers, the ridiculous of labyrinths, and an abundance of caffeine.

RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

12 thoughts on “Revised Common Lectionary: With All Your Might

  1. I have preached on the 2 Samuel text in the past but used the passage the lectionary delicately avoids: the knock-down-drag-out fight between David and Michal over his “lewd” dancing. (The one verse in the lectionary selection about Michal’s hatred for her husband is not explained by the lectionary verses.) I last preached on it in the summer of 2012, where I likened the two of them to the marital discord found in the renewal that summer of the old soapy favorite “Dallas.” Alas, that was not a sustainable sermon, as the show tanked after Larry Hagman’s death. But it was a fun sermon.

    This year, I’m preaching the Mark text, pondering how, after John’s death, Herod wondered if Jesus was John come back to life. In a sense, Jesus became Herod’s conscience. Should be interesting…for me, anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Preaching from Mark this week. “Become Known” is the lectionary sermon series title (UMC), and I’m toying with ideas of what it means to be a righteous person in our world today. I’ve been struck by Herod’s fear of John the Baptist for his righteousness, and I can’t help but wonder what that would look like in today’s world if we were so righteous as to give others pause.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m also preaching on the Mark text this week. It’s odd that Mark who is usually the most brief gives this story more space than Matthew or Luke. Also, unlike Matthew and Luke, Mark calls Herod “king” –which one commentary suggests may be some Markan humor, or irony, since this Herod isn’t actually a king, just a tetrarch. Herod’s rash promise goes awry, but our true ruler, Jesus, makes promises we can trust. Also wondering if this story is the inspiration for those heads on platters we often find in Halloween haunted houses?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I wish there were some way I could work in a reference to a fan fiction novel, “Bring Me the Head of Lieutenant Commander Data” (a reference to the two-part episodes “Time’s Arrow”)…but I don’t think that’s going to work!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am including the verses about Uzzah’s untimely and seemingly senseless death in our reading of 2 Samuel. This makes for a natural tie-in to the timeless theme of how tragedy strikes the righteous. Grief is part of life, and no I don’t think God always has “a plan” or that a “window opens” when a door closes.


    1. The story of Uzzah adds good & important complexity to the overarching story, imo. Hope the sermonizing is going well.


  5. I’m preaching on the 2 Samuel passage, “Dancing Before the Lord,” opening with Uyai Mose and closing with Siyahamba and a flash mob. Presbyterians are good at loving God with all our minds … but with all our hearts and with all our strength? What keeps us from loving God with our whole selves, and how can we let go of that and dance before the Lord with joyful abandon?

    I have a collection of paragraphs at this moment, none of which are cohesive, but I am hoping for something that resembles a first draft before bed tonight because my niece-to-be’s bachelorette party is tomorrow, and I would like to celebrate with her for a bit.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Rachel, may I refer to some or all of your reasons for dancing (as opposed to all the reasons we give for not dancing before the Lord) in my sermon with appropriate credit?


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