Jan 20

The time the nation’s leader danced in his underwear

As I write this on Thursday, some are wondering how “presidential” Donald Trump will appear at his inauguration. Others question if a dignified appearance matters. One Bible story suggests God liked it when the national leader stripped to his underwear and started dancing at a parade.

2 Samuel chapter 6 relates that King David brought the Ark of the Covenant (yep, it’s a real thing and not just a face-melting prop from Raiders of the Lost Ark) into the capital city of Jerusalem. David led the procession. He made two animal sacrifices along the way. He danced “with all his might.” And 2 Samuel 6:14 notes, “David was girded with a linen ephod.” A little research in the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible reveals that “girded with a linen ephod” means David was dancing while wearing a ceremonial loincloth – and nothing else.

At least one person found this inappropriate for the national leader. When David got home his wife said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ maids, as any vulgar fellow might shamelessly uncover himself!” (2 Samuel 6:20). David replied, “It was before the Lord… I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes” (2 Samuel 6:21-22 NIV). A postscript to the story says that David’s wife had no children, which is likely meant to communicate that God took David’s side.

I don’t know how “presidential” Donald Trump will appear at his inauguration or how important that is. I do hope and pray that with God’s help he, our other leaders, you, and I will lead without regard for ourselves but for the sake of others from God to our families to employees to volunteers to the American people.

In Christ,

Rich Rindfuss
Access Pastor
First United Methodist Church Richardson

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