Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Call to Worship

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
 Luke 2:14 (ESV)

Christmas certainly can bring out the busy, right? Longer lines, greater impatience, busy schedules, and too many celebrations to actually enjoy. Somehow, I don’t believe this is what God had in mind regarding the birth of his son. Jesus is to be the object of our worship. We are to focus solely on him, the author and finisher of our faith, knowing that through him life makes sense. Through him, we can know God. Through him, we have forgiveness of sins and true redemption.

Worship. Worship is what the birth of Christ should call us to.

When he was still in the womb, the very presence of Christ caused John the Baptist to leap for joy! Worship.

Mary sang a song of praise and Zechariah, he of former doubt, declared the praise of Christ. Worship!

When the angels told the shepherds about the miracle birth, it was a symphony of worship. The glory of the Lord was shining, and the ultimate worship choir let loose their praise above the earth! Worship.

Simeon and Anna were among the first to meet the Christ-child and they responded with blessing and joy and praise. Worship!

Perhaps the most compelling confirmation of our call to worship is the actions of the wise men. The Bible declares that they saw the child and then they “fell down and worshiped him.” Men of great stature and riches and wisdom. Movers and shakers of their world worship at the feet of a baby boy.

Can you see the common thread? Do you recognize what those who were privileged to see Jesus in the flesh did? They worshiped. They were filled with joy, they shouted praise, and they realized that the hope and light of the world was embodied in a precious baby.

As much as I love Christmas, I often get wrapped up in the egg nog and wrapping paper and viewing Christmas lights. I marvel at beautiful Christmas trees and I love playing Christmas carols on the piano. While these are all good and enjoyable activities, they do not truly bring me to worship. I must intentionally not lose sight of the whole reason for the celebration. I must recognize that the Almighty God chose to send his son to earth in order to restore relationship with me. There is no other response but worship.

May this Christmas season bring you much joy and happiness and fun. May you have family and friends to bless and be blessed by. May the presence of God truly fill all of your Christmas celebrations. And may all of this bring you to your knees in worship that you may join the shepherds and angels and wise men and others in shouting praise to the newborn King!

Lord Jesus, I confess that the twinkling lights and wintery treats can pull me from focusing on you. If I am not careful, I can make Christmas about myself and my activities and my gifts. Remind me, O Lord, to worship you. May every song and Christmas ornament and poem and activity point me to you, and may I respond appropriately in worship. Amen!

~ Mike

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