The First Christmas Worship
We hear it time and again, and repeatedly every year, that the mere mention of such things tune some out. That which was suppose to be a reminder to draw our hearts closer to God had become a cliché of insignificance, a banality that becomes sacrilege.
The Christmas truth has not change throughout the centuries. It’s our hearts that need to be revived.
The concept of Christmas was first mentioned to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It was God speaking towards the serpent (Lucifer).
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." (Genesis 3:15 NIV)
Since that day, they await The Offspring yet to be born who will undo the mess that Adam made to all generations after.
The Prophet Isaiah picked up on this:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 NIV)
Then the star appeared.
A group of Magi from the East knew something about this star. They, being non-Jews, have a record of powerful men in history from whom their descent was emulated. One was Balaam, and they may have encountered this oracle by him:
"I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the sons of Sheth. (Numbers 24:17 NIV)
The concept of the Coming One is still evident, and also the Act of Crushing Heads. But this time, another information was added – the star.
And the star continued to shine.
These Wise Men, a guild of king-makers, went out of their way, left their comfort zones, and traveled in the direction of the star. They were united in their intention:
"Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." (Matthew 2:2 NIV)
And history happened as we know it. The Magi reached the place, that ordinary stable somewhere in Bethlehem, and they worshiped Him.
“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11 NIV)
It is important to note that they also saw the Virgin Mary, but they did not worship her, or Joseph. They worshiped Jesus, and Him alone.
Just how did they worship?
They bowed down, spoke words of adoration, and presented the best gifts they could offer. It was the homage fit for a king.
Who or what has gotten the attention of our worship this Christmas?
In the busyness of our vacations and holiday schedules, are Bible-reading and worship still part of the routine? In meeting old friends, distant family members and relatives, do we still make it a point to meet with the King, the Birthday Celebrant?
Now is the time to renew and intensify our worship.