Worship in the Bible is often depicted as extravagant and costly devotion to God. David once said,
“I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing."
~ II Samuel 24:24
In the Book of Matthew, there is a beautiful picture of a woman pouring out her worship before the Lord as a fragrant and costly offering. The woman at Bethany came to Jesus with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume that she then broke and poured over his head. Jesus’ disciples thought that the luxurious contents would have been better spent if it had been sold and the money given away to the poor (for its value was a year’s worth of wages). Jesus responded to them,
“Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me… I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."
~ Matthew 26:10 - 13
Dance is MY form of extravagant and costly worship to the Lord. Dance is a costly pursuit because it takes years of continuous and expensive training. When I calculate the hours and dollars that I have invested in dance, it is hard to justify the expenditure because I am not pursuing it as a career. I do not dance because it will repay me; I dance because I am called to minister through dance and honor the Lord with my gift.
I pursue the discipline, so that I can pour it out!
Each time I dance in worship to God, my offering is more than just the giving of my body, heart and soul. I believe that my offering also includes the invested time, money, energy, discipline, heartache and faithfulness. It is the lifestyle that makes it costly.
The woman at Bethany gave more than just a fragrance. The alabaster jar cost her an entire year’s worth of wages, and she “wasted” it within a few moments.
I, too, can give a dance that fades as a fragrance in the wind, but I am not merely offering a dance. I am offering my life. I know that the Lord will vindicate my life if I use this gift for Him just as Jesus vindicated the woman’s offering by allowing her story to live on.
Dance has become close to my heart, and within my heart is the Lord. I feel closest to the Lord when I am dancing, and I feel closest to dance when I am worshiping my God. If I never receive the acclaim of men or monetary wealth because of my dance, I still know that it has been worth it all. When I dance I can feel the Lord’s pleasure, and in the end I will dance with him forever.
For now, I will continue to pour out my Alabaster Jar of Worship for God and God alone.