THE WISDOM OF THE JOURNEY
This past Sunday we held our Christmas musical, He is Worthy. We worshiped Jesus because he is worthy of wonder, celebration, awe, adoration, and ultimately, everything.
On Christmas Eve we will have two special worship services. First will be our Family Christmas Eve Service at 4:00PM, where we will hear testimonies of how families with children worship this time of year, sing carols, and hear about Jesus born for us so that we may be born in him. This will be followed by our Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at 6:00PM, where we will sing carols, light candles, and also consider Jesus and what his birth means for us. Both services will help us celebrate the birth of our Savior. Of course, we continue to worship this Sunday morning, considering how Jesus is worthy of everything.
Why should worship be such a big part of Christmas? Christmas is about Jesus Christ and the salvation he brings. The only correct response to Jesus is worship.
THE WISE SEARCH
One of the most familiar Christmas stories helps us to understand this. The wise men, the magi, who come from the east, are looking to worship Jesus. These men had studied the Old Testament, and they were aware that God was going to send the “King of the Jews,” the Messiah. At the same time, they were studying the stars and saw something there that convinced them the King of the Jews had been born.
It’s impossible to know exactly what the wise men saw or how they knew the star was pointing to Jesus. What we do know is that God graciously worked through their study to lead them to Jesus. The star in the sky led them to the star come forth from Jacob, the scepter risen from Israel (Num 24:17). So they left their homes in Babylon or Persia and began the long journey to see Jesus. We don’t know exactly how many miles it was, but from Baghdad to Bethlehem is 547 miles of extremely inhospitable desert terrain. Even if it wasn’t that far and was only 200 miles, why would anyone do that? Why would you put your life on hold, and walk or ride a camel for months, knowing with each passing mile that the return trip would be just as long? Why would you leave your wife and children, your friends and family, your home, for most likely a year or even two?
THE WISE JOURNEY
For the wise men, that kind of trip was worth it. They knew they needed to find Jesus. It is only in coming to Jesus to worship him, falling before him, giving him our everything, that we find everything we have been looking for, that we find life. This is why we call them wise men today. Wise men, women, and children come from wherever they are, no matter what the journey might look like, to worship the King of Kings.
This Christmas, in light of God’s indescribable gift, may each one of us offer ourselves in worship, as a “living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Rom 12:2).