Today is our first Sunday of worship in December. Things change at Christmas… decorations cover the walls and hallways; trees line our homes and neighborhoods.; wonderful sights and smells greet us everywhere we go. Christmas changes things. And it should change our worship, too. I pray that the power of Christmas will cause us to look up and long for a transformation in our own hearts. That the joy of Christmas will emerge from our lips in praise. And that the peace of Christmas will fill our hearts to overflowing. Christmas changes things.
When Christ came, everything changed. It was some time before we saw it, but one- by- one people started to receive the truth that God had indeed become man and now walked… among us! We were “Emmanuel-ed!” God is now with us. First, a young Jewish girl named Mary received it. Then her betrothed husband Joseph got it. Then, shepherds watching their sheep got it. We read about men from the Orient, wise men who came to worship, understood and bowed before Emmanuel.
They understood that God had not only sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law (Galatians 4:4) but that God had sent His Son with a mission… not just to live among us but also to die for us! “ He redeemed those who were under law (held in slavery to it) that we might received adoption as sons.” Not only were we Emmanuel-ed; not only were we redeemed and set free from a cruel slave master that is the Law, but we were cleaned up, taken home and made part of the family of God as an adopted child! (Galatians 4:6)
No wonder the “herald angels sing!” No wonder the Heavens bow in wonder at the birth of the King. No wonder we rejoice at Christmas! No wonder there is joy! We have been RECONCILED to God!
GOD IS WITH US! THE LORD HAS COME!
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:15)
FOR REFLECTION: Does Christmas change the way you worship?