No doubt, this Christmas season seems a bit different than usual. After all, it is still 2020! And as much as I am disappointed in the cancellations of parties and programs, perhaps the simplicity of the holidays reminds us to center our thoughts on Christ. In particular, we recognize that the days are about more than a flurry of activities; they call us to worship Jesus as the one and only Savior of humanity.
Recall that announcement on the first Christmas? The angel declared, “Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11 KJV). The message was simple but powerful: Good news! The Savior has finally come, and He has brought salvation to all of the world! Jesus was the predicted Messiah who came to provide forgiveness for sinful humanity. In fact, he was born to die. The Father’s plan was for His Son to become the sacrifice for our sin. Through Christ’s work, we have the opportunity to experience true spiritual freedom. Again, that’s good news, news that prompted a multitude of angels to exclaim, “Glory to God in the highest” (Luke 2:14a KJV).
Humanity joined the supernatural chorus in their own gratitude. A group of rugged, smelly shepherds were the first to hear the news. This ragtag group did not rank high on the social ladder, but God revealed to them the news of salvation. Their response? Ultimately, they praised and glorified God (Luke 2:20). They worshiped Jesus as the Messiah.
Some time later in the infancy narrative, an Eastern caravan followed the star’s direction to find this new King. Unlike the shepherds, the wise men were wealthy, well-respected members of society. However, their response was basically the same as their shepherd counterparts. The Scripture relates that the magi came (some time after the birth) to worship the King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2). When they found the young boy, they worshiped Him and presented gifts to Him. Extraordinarily, the wise men recognized Jesus as the true King.
So what does this mean to us? It should mean that our primary response to the Christ of Christmas involves worship. Supernatural beings as well as human beings worshiped. The affluent as well as the lowly worshiped. No matter who you are or what your position, you are called to recognize Jesus as the one and only Savior who is worthy of your worship. You may choose various elements to aid your worship, but your focus should be Christ. He alone has achieved our salvation!
I encourage you to take some personal moments to exalt our Lord and to join fellow believers in worship as well. Gather with us this Sunday, December 27, for our Combined Worship Service at 9 a.m. as we observe the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Then plan to join us for the first Sunday of 2021, January 3, as we look to turn the calendar with a renewed resolve.
My friends, we have so much to celebrate! And there is no better way to rejoice than coming together to worship as one united family! See you Sunday! And Merry Christmas!