A Call to Worship Christ
9After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
Everyone loves Christmas, right? Who doesn’t like all the beautiful decorations and traditions of Christmas? Who doesn’t like warm drinks, cool gifts, tasty cookies, and anything else we would term as the Christmas spirit. Hey, even Ebenezer Scrooge came around eventually.
So what exactly is the Christmas spirit all about after all? And a better question to ask ourselves is: What should the substance of an authentic Christmas spirit be in each one of us?
Matthew chapter two tells us that wise men from the east came searching for the child who was born King of the Jews. Why? “For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2). But the wise men were not the only ones interested in worship; when King Herod heard about the Christ child and learned about the appearance of the star, he summoned the wise men and told them to search out the child so “I too may come and worship him” (Matthew 2:8).
Both the wise men and Herod were both equally committed to worship. Very committed. But that is where the worship paths diverge; all worship is not Christ worship. As we know, the wise men were eagerly pursuing a genuine opportunity to worship the Christ child. Herod, however, was disingenuous in the worst possible sense of the word.
Here is the defining difference: the wise men relentlessly sought to worship Christ as King. Herod relentlessly sought to protect his own kingdom. In protecting his own kingdom at all costs, Herod revealed the true object of his worship. Herod worshiped Herod, along with his temporary, earthly kingdom.
The results of their worship were equally stark in contrast. The wise men found the Christ child and “rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (Matthew 2:10). Herod, filled with selfishness and rage, attempted to eliminate the Christ child. These contrasting results can also translate into our lives this Christmas season. When our focus is on worshiping Christ, we too will be filled with exceedingly abundant joy. But when we worship our decorations, food, and traditions, we may find ourselves filled with a lot less.
This Christmas, let’s take time to remember the object of our worship must be Christ, and Him alone; because on a heart level, Christ worship is the center of the Christmas spirit. —Luke Ahrens
- What are the objects of my worship this Christmas season?
- How can I guard against worshiping the wrong things? How can I tell when I’m doing this?
Prayer – Father, thank You for this joyous season where we worship Your amazing gift to us in Your Son Jesus Christ. Help me to worship You alone, Lord. Forgive my tendency to wander away and worship things that will not fill me with exceeding joy and hope. In Jesus’ name, Amen.