This time of year warms every part of my heart. I am one of those who’s definitely guilty of wanting the Christmas decorations up in early November! The trees and lights, the ornaments and presents all represent a precious season to me, and to everyone who loves the story. And what a STORY it is!
In the middle of all the hustle, bustle and busyness of the season is the STORY. The story of a Father’s love and a Savior’s birth. We can make this season about a lot of things; but at the end of it all, it’s the story that makes the SEASON.
There were so many reasons that Jesus came to earth. In Matthew 2:1 the Bible says, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came Wise Men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him.’ ”
The Wise Men had travelled for months for one purpose - to WORSHIP the King! The angels worshipped, the shepherds WORSHIPPED, and the Wise Men had come from afar to WORSHIP. Worship comes easy for humanity, we were MADE for it. But how do you worship a King? How do you worship the King of Kings?
This is my question for you this Christmas. How will you worship the King? What will you bring? What will you lay at His feet? Will YOU lay at His feet? How will the gift you bring reflect your heart? As we enter into the season of the ultimate story, we must return to a place of worship.
I want to invite you and your family to a very special worship service on December 19th at 9:30am or 11:30am. I want you to consider how you will worship the King this Christmas.
Matthew 2:10 says, “When the Wise Men saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
I love imagining the emotions of this moment as the Wise Men fell down and worshipped Jesus. I often wonder how they might have felt after searching for so long and finally finding. Each of us have our searching and finding stories. I certainly looked in all the wrong places at first, but I do remember that moment. The moment not when I found Him, but when He found me. Do remember how you felt in your FOUND moment?
I remember feeling that there was nothing that I would not give Him, and there was nothing that I would not lay down. That is the essence of worship. What are we willing to give, and what are we willing to lay down? I have found that you cannot give it ALL until you are willing to give YOURSELF. Once we have freely given ourselves to the ONE who gave it ALL, giving everything else becomes a whole lot easier.
As we prepare to gather on Sunday, December 19th to worship as a family, I would like you to consider this. Have you given Him your all? Have you laid your life before Him in complete surrender? How will you worship the King this Christmas?
I have so many amazing memories from this time of year. Our family had strong traditions around Christmas time, and I have carried many of those forward with my own family. One of those traditions is the reading of the Christmas story on Christmas Eve. Sitting around the tree and reading the story has always been a highlight to me.
The story of the Wise Men has always stirred my imagination. I can see them after a long journey finally finding what they had been searching for, as they bowed themselves before the King. The Bible says that they “opened their treasures and presented Him GIFTS.” The word “gift” in the Greek means “a sacrifice or an offering.”
I love giving gifts, and as a Father I have loved watching the faces of my children as they have opened their gifts over the years. You can always tell what they thought about the gift by the look on their face. I’ve often wondered what the Father’s face has looked like when I lay my gift before Him? What would He say or how would He feel? Would He feel honored? Would He be surprised? Would He feel worshipped? I know that I have been guilty of obsessing more over what I’m going to get Stephanie at times than I have with what will I give to the King.
I have made a determination this Christmas to consider deeply how I will worship the King. In this season I want to put myself in the place of the Wise Men. I too want to fall at His feet and present Him with gifts. On December 19th we are going to be worshipping by bringing a special gift to the King. Stephanie and I can’t wait to worship with you!
Matthew 2:11 records the story of the Wise Men worshipping Jesus. It says they “opened their treasures, and they presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” They had travelled from afar, but they did not come empty handed. They had considered this moment for months and they had come prepared.
I think that far too often we approach our worship of God the Father without much thought or preparation. We race into His presence without the forethought of what we might BRING to lay before Him. The Wise Men’s gifts were not something they could run out and grab. They had considered it and they had prepared well. Now that they were in His presence, and they couldn’t wait to lay it at His feet.
I’ll be transparent for a moment. I have found that the more I love someone, and the more I value the relationship, the more consideration I give to the GIFT I get them. I feel that in my relationship with God that what I give to Him should cause me to pause, to think, and to prepare.
Worship infers a level of SACRIFICE. Webster defines sacrifice as “the act of giving up something that you want to keep.” When we consider worship in this light it demands that we think deeply and prepare well. What is it that you want to keep? What is it that you struggle to give?
As we prepare to worship this Christmas, I’d like you to consider how you will worship the King. What sacrifice will you make? What gift will you give? What will you lay at His feet at the end of the long journey of 2021? I know that I’m excited to worship with you on Sunday, December 19th.