How many times, former procrastinators, have you driven too fast to a Christmas worship event, hurried in late, tried to unobtrusively take a seat, tried to feel calm when your body is seated but your insides are hopping up and down stirring, wrapping, and arranging? That’s me, naturally. Sometimes my thoughts have even been, “Let’s do this and get back home.” Where’s the worship?
I treat God the same way I feel treated when my husband doesn’t give me undivided attention and keeps looking at his watch. Worship?
We get caught up in going, giving, gathering. Sometimes our celebration is more like “celebrasion.” Attitudes and situations grate against us and our expectations and leave us feeling raw. We feel guilty because we’re experiencing more stress or disappointment than joy.
To celebrate is to observe, to praise. Worship is acknowledgement of worth, respect, reverence, “worthship.” What do we celebrate, what do we worship this season? If we celebrate or worship a season of cheer, goodwill, beautiful music and decorations, we’re missing it.
Christmas is not about lights or sweet movies. It’s not even about family or giving. Christmas is about Jesus Christ who came to save us. We desperately need Him. He came! Holy God came to earth to rescue us. Lights, music, family, and giving can enhance our celebration of this truth. However, they are not what Christmas is about. There are no lights in a foxhole or cell or empty apartment. But there is Jesus. There is Christmas.
We enjoy family, friends, and decorations remembering that they point to the One we celebrate, Our Savior who came. Let’s guard against worshipping them.
Misplaced worship creates stress. Focus on Jesus relieves stress.
Remembering this perspective helps me worship Him. Some other helps are time, gratitude, focus. Procrastination works against these. Margin facilitates them.
When we allow more time for tasks and more time between tasks, we set ourselves up to notice Him in the activity and to ponder the wonder of Christ. We are able to experience and express gratitude. We create space for focusing deliberately on Him. Whether in church in a pew or at home on the sofa, we can focus on the beauty of Jesus. Sometimes our thoughts dwell on someone we love or admire; we consider their characteristics, what we respect and appreciate, how we’d like to be like them. We can let our thoughts dwell on Jesus considering the same things. Dwelling on Him, we worship.
Christmas spent alone or without a dear loved one among us is a disappointment. There would be no Christmas at all without Jesus. No celebration if He had not come to save us.
All the family, all the giving, all the goodwill would leave us eternally disappointed, guilty, lost. But He came!
Oh, come let us adore HIM!
When will you calmly focus on Jesus’s worthiness this week? On the truth that He came to rescue you?