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Hootin' and Hollerin' by Steve Hemphill

An Advent Devotion
The Canticles of Christmas
Week Three: the Benedictus

Friday, December 22

2 Samuel 6:12-19

And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart. (2 Samuel 6:16b)

When I was a kid in the 1960's in Monett, Missouri, there was one day a year that really stood out: the Saturday before Vacation Bible School started the next Monday. I'm certain nobody else can share this memorable experience. We decorated cars with VBS banners, honked horns, tossed candy out the windows and drove all over town yelling out invitations to VBS. The key to the success of this 20-30 car caravan was the fact we were led by a siren blasting fire truck and police cruiser. Since my uncle was the county Sheriff, I always got to operate the police siren. The concept of separation of Church and State never occurred to anybody, but apparently it did later as the practice was stopped by the mid-70's. I guess the rationale was to show the unchurched how much fun we had at VBS.

Today's reading describes when King David brought the Ark of the Lord to town with a big parade, dancing and loud rejoicing. When Saul's daughter looked out the window to check out the commotion, “and when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.”

There may have been some Monett “sourpusses” watching that VBS parade but we didn't care about them. We were more interested in those who looked upon the “hootin’ and hollerin’” and thought those Christians sure do have fun!

This Christmas may we be more like King David and share publicly the joy of the Lord and care not about those “bah humbug” people out there!

Steve Hemphill

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