Sunday, December 22, 2019

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Adulation

We all, or most all, know the story of Jesus’ birth. We know that Mary, who was with child, and Joseph made a journey to Bethlehem. Upon arriving in this little town, Mary and Joseph found shelter in a stable. During the course of the night, a small child’s cry could be heard piercing the silence. Angels heralded the birth of the Messiah and told shepherds of this special birth. Later, in the story, a star guided three wisemen to the King of Kings. Both shepherd and king alike came to behold their newborn king and do one thing, show their adulation for him. In short, both came to bow down and worship him.

No matter whether they were prince or pauper, they came to give themselves to this one small child. Although he was born in the simplest of conditions, it did not matter to him. In the twenty-second chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus declares, “But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.

Jesus came into this world in the lowest of all possible stations. He came as a child of a poor family. His princely estate was an animal stable and his cradle was a food trough. Yet, all who truly knew him came to bow before him. The lowest to the highest who knew him came as equals to worship him.

As he lived his life, Jesus became the servant to all and took the lowest places. In chapter nine of Luke’s gospel, Jesus replied to someone who said that he wanted to follow Jesus, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.

The reason I remind you of this story is not because of the season, but the very fact of why Jesus came into the world in such a low station and how he lived his life. Jesus did not come into this world as a prince destined for an earthly throne. He did not live with a silver spoon in his mouth nor did he grow a ministry receiving donations that allowed him to travel in style. 

John writes in the third chapter of his gospel, “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Jesus did not come into this world to build an earthly kingdom or serve as a king. He came to save the world from its sin and provide a way back to the Father. He showed those who thirsted for the living water the way to that water. Jesus showed those who hungered for the daily bread the way to it.

In probably one of the most memorable passages of the Bible, Jesus, in chapter fourteen of the Gospel of John, says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!

It is only through the life of Jesus who came into this world without fanfare that we are saved by the grace of the Father. He was born to give rest to all those who come to him. He gave of himself freely and became a servant. As we bow down and humble ourselves before him, let us remember his example. We are here to serve those who thirst and hunger spiritually. It is only through our selfless example and imitating the life of Christ Jesus in all that we do and say that the light that came into this dark world can shine in our lives.

Paul, in the second chapter of his epistle to the Philippians, writes, “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus, in the fifth chapter of Matthew’s gospel, told those listening, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Christmas is celebrated with lights. Those lights twinkle and illuminate. Think of your life as one of those little lights. Remember the children’s song, “This Little Light of Mine”. Let your life and light shine to all and lead those who walk in darkness to the “light of the world” that came to save and not to condemn. Jesus left his throne from on high and entered this world to serve all and to be the way to the Father. Live your life in accordance to the will of God and in keeping with the example of Jesus. Humble yourself and give all glory and praise to the Father.

As we approach the joyous day that we celebrate as the birth of Jesus, let us always remember that he came into the world for all, rich and poor, saint and sinner. All come to bow before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. All come to worship him and to know that he came into the world to provide us a way to the Father so that we can stand firm in His grace.  

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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