“Dancing For God”

Maro prepares to dance in church, and Madala learns that there is more than one way to worship respectfully.

Themes Found in This Story

  • People worship differently in different places
  • We should come before the Lord with joy

 Memory Verse

“Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp.” Psalm 149:3



One day, loud drumming woke Madala from his mid-afternoon nap. Grumbling to himself, he went outside to look. Tshameka was standing on Reë’s back playing a large wooden drum. In front of them, Maro was dancing wildly and singing at the top of her lungs.


“Here now! What’s all this noise?” Madala yelled over the drumming.


“Sorry, Madala,” Tshameka said as he quit playing. “We were only helping Maro practice.”


“Yeah,” said Reë. “She’s going to dance at church tomorrow!”


Madala’s eyes went wide, and he almost over-balanced and fell off his tail. “What, all that shouting and leaping about like a hooligan? You’re doing that in church?”


“Well, yes,” said Maro, looking confused. “Is something wrong?”


“Hmph!” Madala grumbled, crossing his arms. “In my day, church was a dignified affair. People showed proper respect in the house of the Lord.”


“I’m not trying to be disrespectful,” Maro told him.


“I’ll say you’re not! Jumping about and making all that ruckus!”


“It’s a joyful noise,” said Reë from behind the drum.


“What?” Madala asked.


“The Bible says to make a joyful noise to the Lord. That’s what we’re doing. We’re not trying to be rude,” Tshameka said.


“Well, that’s true enough. And really, it’s not the drumming I mind, you know. It’s this dancing,” Madala admitted.


“You don’t think I should dance?” asked Maro.


“Well, not in church, no. There’s a time and place for these things,” Madala told her.


“Well,” Maro said carefully. “There are lots of people who dance at church. And it’s not because we don’t have respect. It’s just the opposite—I’m dancing for God! I just love the music, and I’m so thankful that God gave me ears to hear it with and feet to move. And then I think about how much God has done for me, and I’m so happy I just have to dance!”


“Hmm,” Madala said, scratching his chin. “So you’re dancing to worship, then, are you? I’ve never thought about that before.” He smiled suddenly. “Well, if you’re worshipping God, then who am I to grumble about it? I suppose if David danced before the Lord there’s no reason you shouldn’t either. Go on then, young lady. Dance away.”


The cubs continued their drumming, Maro went on dancing, and the next morning at church, even Madala was tapping his walking stick along with the music.

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