Worship At Christmas
Nick Tynan | 12.06.18
What does worshiping at Christmas look like? How can we focus on our big God in the midst of the Christmas season? Follow along with Pastor Nick as he points to Scripture and the angels’ example of vertical, hope-filled and compelling worship.
WORSHIP AT CHRISTMAS
FOLLOWING THE ANGELS’ EXAMPLE
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:14
This is what a host of angels sang as they worshiped and gave glory to their creator God on the first Christmas. These angels were leading worship before a group of hard-working shepherds who had just heard the good news of great joy from the lead angel. That good news was that a Savior, Christ the Lord, had been born not far from where they stood. This news broke a 400-year silence and pointed to the fulfillment of a promise that God had made back during the time of King David. The shepherds were stunned, confused and afraid, and yet the multitude of angels came and worshiped above them.
The angels’ worship was vertical. “Glory to God” they sang with their whole beings. First and foremost, this story of good news was about God’s glory. The reality of a Savior being born to mankind resulted in more glory to God. We were far; he came near, which brought restored relationship and in turn, glory to God. We couldn’t do any of that ourselves. We were powerless to approach a holy God. It took a perfect Savior to repair that relationship. Since it was all his doing, he would receive all the glory.
The angels’ worship was filled with hope. “Glory to God in the highest.” God is exalted above all. Above all rulers and authorities, above all nature and power, above all time and space. He is above it all and that should fill us with hope. “And on earth peace.” If there is one thing that the world, back in the shepherd’s day and the world we live in now both need, it is peace. Jesus brings a peace that passes all understanding. A peace with God and a peace to live out our days this side of heaven with confidence and joy because of a hope-filled future. “Among those with whom he is pleased!” God is pleased with sinners like us? Yes. Because of the work that would be done by this little baby, God would be pleased and therefore, would restore relationship with us. That produces worship that is filled with eternal hope.
This worship compelled the shepherds to go and see if this “thing” was real. So, they did, and it was. They saw and experienced with their own eyes exactly as the angel had told them: this baby, wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. The fulfillment of promise, prophecy and hope was lying in front of them as a newborn baby. All that the angels had proclaimed in worship before them, came to mind and the shepherds were struck to follow their example. They left “glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.”
As we gather corporately this Christmas, let’s remember the angels’ example. Let’s focus on giving glory to God for this gift of restored relationship we couldn’t do ourselves. Let’s purpose to proclaim the hope–filled message found in the Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Let’s allow worship to fill our hearts, minds and songs and not let anything distract us from that purpose. Like the angels and the shepherds before us, let’s go “glorifying and praising God” for all we have seen and heard.