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Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Joy in Worship

"Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?  
For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."
Matthew 2:2

Worship!

We have come to worship Him. We’ve often heard the word explained as worth-ship, as in attributing great worth to the worshipped one. Certainly the arduous journey of the magi across deserts and mountains qualifies as attributing worth to the King of kings. Bestowing Him with gifts of great value showed their worship in a tangible way. They left no doubt that they put their energy where the worship of their lips said it was.

But what of us? Can we get a solid fix on the worship God with Us–Immanuel will accept? Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well and explained that worship isn’t a where, but a how. True worshippers, He said, worship His Father in spirit and in truth. How does that look in everyday life?
The two of us spend a lot of time thinking about that all year as we prepare our hearts and select music designed to lead our congregation at the senior village in worship. Yes, the lyrics and tunes we choose can make a rich contribution to our corporate experience at worship.

O worship the King, all glorious above. 
O gratefully sing His power and His love.
Our Shield and Defender, The Ancient of Days 
Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.

But when the last note is sung and the benediction echoes in the silence, what then is worship? Could it be stroking the hand of a grieving friend? Speaking an uplifting word to a downhearted soul? Wrapping a blanket around a shivering shoulder? When you’ve done it to the least of these, our Lord said, you’ve done it to Me.

Of course, our salvation does not come from actions we can take. But our worship does. Yes, it’s our words, our song. But in this season of giving, may we be more attuned to opportunities He places before us, opportunities to worship Him by serving one another in love. May we act out the love He lavished on us as He came in that manger. If there’s any doubt that He loved us, we can look past the manger to His Cross and past the Cross to the Empty Tomb. The One Who did all that for us deserves our whole-hearted, whole-bodied worship—not just in word, but in every move we make. That’s what’s been on our hearts this Christmas as we’ve contemplated becoming worshippers in spirit and in truth.

Blessings and prayers,

Julie

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