By, Alyece Averbeck
Our modern English word “worship” comes from and old English word meaning “to give back one’s worth”.
When reading the Christmas story (Luke 1:27-2:38 and Matthew 1:19-2:11), God showed me wonderful truths on how to worship and how *not* to worship Him from the characters of these familiar passages. Let’s take a look:
Mary’s immediate response was submission (Luke 1:38). True worship always begins when we submit our will to that of the Father. We later find her at her cousin’s home recounting the many attributes of God (Luke 1:46-55). And again after the shepherds leave, she is sitting there pondering or meditating on all that has transpired in her life over the recent months (Luke 2:19).
The youngest character is actually a babe still in his mother’s womb. John the Baptist literally leaped for joy when he came into the presence of the baby Jesus who was also in the womb (Luke 1:41). I imagine that John learned from this early age how to worship from his mother.
Elizabeth was filled with Holy Ghost when she encountered the Christ-child. And her filling produced humility (Luke 1:41-43). Oh! That I may teach my children from birth the importance of worship and being filled!
Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, obeyed (Matthew 1:19-25). Again, true worship comes from submission and will then become obedience. No wonder God chose Mary and Joseph to be His earthly parents!
To their dismay, Bethlehem chose to shut out Jesus (Luke 2:7). They had no room for Him in their busy schedules. Think of the miracle they missed!
Jesus was announced by an angel to shepherds on the hillside (Luke 2:10-14). It started with only one, and then the night sky filled with praises to God! Worship is contagious.
The shepherds then immediately sought Jesus (Luke 2:15-18,20). Once they found Him, they worshiped Him. And their encounter with Christ so moved them, they had to share it with everyone!
On that fateful day in the Temple, thirty days after Christ was born, Anna and Simeon were given their opportunity to come face-to-face with Jesus. Simeon prophesied that this baby was God’s salvation and that He would one day go to the cross (Luke 2:25-35)! Anna boldly proclaimed to everyone around that this same baby was the Redemption they were praying for (Luke 2:35-38)!
A couple years later when the wisemen finally arrived to worship Christ, they were moved to give materially of their great possessions (Matthew 2:9-11). Worship moves you to give of what you have (materially, spiritually, physically, etc.).
So, how will you allow the greatest gift ever given to affect you? Will your encounter with the Christ-child move you to worship or will you choose to shut Him out?