Monday, December 23, 2019

Who Worships a Baby?

After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)



So who really worships a baby? These were grown, educated men who fell down in the presence of the infant Jesus. When this Scripture was read aloud, I had to wonder at the freedom and devotion that moved the magi to worship Jesus. They did not worship out of forced submission or acquiescence. Their worship was not grudging, resentful, or jealous. The worship of the magi was costly in time, money, and effort; lavish expression and absolute disregard for self-exaltation.

The price only began to reflect the worth of Jesus. They had no way of knowing, no way of comprehending the value of Christ. None of us does. God in flesh? Who can fully comprehend it? Perhaps they were resting on this promise:

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

This--this is what brings worship, praise, and adoration. Jesus became a man. God in flesh dwelt among us. Incomparable. Unfathomable. The omnipotent One: Almighty. The omniscient One: all knowing. The omnipresent One now, by choice, limited to a human vessel. Good. Always, wholly good. Light, without even a shadow of darkness. Love that encompasses and redeems the guilty. Grace personified. This One chose to come to us. Confined to a physical vessel in a world ruled by His supreme, unseen enemy, Jesus would experience and walk among His creation. Unheard of!

He would then give Himself over to be wrongly charged, beaten, abused, spat upon and gruesomely executed, receiving in His spirit God's judgment and wrath for the sin of the world. We cannot begin to bear the weight of our own sin, how can we begin to understand Jesus' love for us?

This is who the Magi worshiped. This is who we worship. A baby? Briefly. And in that wee One was the promise of eternity, the life of God eternal, the hope of the world. He was worthy of the magi's adoration. He is worthy--worthy of more than we could ever bring or hope to entrust to His care. That is why we worship. Knowledge of the Holy One moves us to trust and obedience. Who am I to know or say what is just, right and good? Absolute? In the presence of Majesty, I loose my hold, my demands for my desires, my way, my limited ability to know what is best. I bow, submit, and confidently place my heart and life at the feet of the Master.

There is liberty in acknowledging Christ and my rightful place. There is joy, peace, contentment, grace--all the good and none of the bad. Worshiping Jesus is a win-win. Dying to self and receiving His payment for my sin--as one little girl said, is "too good to be true." The only thing I have to lose is myself, my desire for sin, destruction, madness, and folly.

Where is your worship today? You and I always worship something. May we, like the magi, give of ourselves--uninhibited, unhindered, unreservedly.

He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. (Colossians 1:15-23)


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