Friday December 26, 2008
They saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Matt 2:11
The remarkable thing about the kings from the east was their acceptance of Jesus as greater than themselves in spite of the humble surroundings in which they found him. No longer a new born in a stable, but now an infant in “the house” where “they saw the child.” There they “worshiped him.” Jesus also received worship later on from the blind man he had healed (John 9:38), although others including angels refused worship (Rev. 19:9–10) in accordance with the first commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me.”
Worship is our most difficult act, for in doing so we forfeit our independence and acknowledge our dependence on God. Perhaps this is why we tend to turn to him in times of extremity—our resources are exhausted and we have nowhere else to turn. I’m sure God sometimes allows adversity into our lives to get our attention. I’m forever grateful that God entered the mutual life of Ann and myself in the good times, and stayed with us though our lifetime to the present. Then when sickness strikes, as it has, we know we are already in his hands having experienced his continuing presence. We know we can face the future with confidence.
It is especially at this Christmas season, the celebration of Jesus’ appearance as a baby on earth, that Jesus comes to us all again seeking the worship from us he received from the eastern kings. Looking back on a lifetime of his love and guidance, it is easy to worship him. And now, facing a New Year of some uncertainty, but with assurance of His continued care for us, it is still easy to worship him. In fact, life takes its meaning, colour, depth and sense of destiny in our lifetime experience of his omnipotent greatness and immeasurable love. Worship is our natural response.