Christmas lacks wonder because we want. Yet, want brings wonder! How does that work? I want some wordplay to help the wonder of your Christmas worship.
Jesus’ Incarnation, birth, life, death, and resurrection are all about worship. But that didn’t begin when the shepherds arrived at the Bethlehem manger. Here’s a mind-boggling thought:
Worship is eternal.
That seems rather obvious if you are only looking forward. You’ve read John’s Revelation and you know we spend eternity in worship. But there is also eternity past. Where was worship before the created order came into existence?
Only God is worthy of worship. Further, He exists as God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So it is reasonable to believe each Person of the Trinity ascribes worth (worth–ship) to the others. Worship is therefore an eternal pursuit.
And let me quickly add another thought. Do not impose our human frailties on Jehovah God. The Godhead doesn’t engage in worship because of any ego issues. Our Father is Perfection Personified. He has no needs of any kind. Only Perfect Holiness is worthy of worship and there is only One Who fits that description. To worship any created being or thing is therefore idolatry because the created is less than the Creator.
So Jesus’ Incarnation and birth were acts of obedient worship. Verification of that statement is easy:
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
So the shepherds in Bethlehem didn’t begin the worship of Christ. Their reverence is our reminder that Christmas is about worship. But what about wonder and want?
Christmas Worship: Want
We usually think of want in its verb form. And that is our problem at Christmas (and many other times!). How often do we hear:
- What do you want for Christmas?
- I want a…?
- Do you want to go…?
- What do you want to eat?
The problem with that kind of want is I am at the center of it. It’s all about me. We are so used to it that we don’t see the danger. Wanting is all about getting. And that’s not like our Father Who is the Supreme Giver. Worship is about giving. We give or focus worthiness upon another. And this is impossible to do when we are constantly wanting.
Want is also a noun. The noun form is why Jesus came. Want can mean need. Jesus’ birth simultaneously met two needs. First, it met the need to worship the Father. We saw that above. Second, His coming meets the want in you and me. We need holiness. But that is not part of us. We need forgiveness because we are not holy. And forgiveness is not something we can give ourselves. So Christmas really is about want. But not the wants under the tree.
Christmas Worship: Wonder
When we think of Christmas in terms of our deep want, then we can sense the wonder of it all. It is a genuine wonder that:
- Holiness came to sinfulness
- Love loved the unlovable
- Light came to people walking in darkness
- Truth rang out: Glory to God in the highest
- Peace can reign in lives conflicted by sin
- The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want
I hope this helps focus your worship at Christmas. Next post will be from Barahona. Please pray for the mission team that leaves Monday!
Soli Deo Gloria!