"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV)
As I write tonight, my mind is at the manger. I am always in awe when I read the account of our Savior's birth and see pictures of the shepherds who have left their sheep to go and see this newborn baby. The account in Luke does not say that they bowed to worship Him, but I can only imagine that they did. We are told that they went from this miracle and spread the word then they returned, "glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."
Although it is nowhere near the time of year that we usually think about this birth, can you go there with me, witness the scene in your mind's eye and allow your heart to respond to all you see and hear? This tiny infant, sleeping in a trough made for feeding animals, Mary and Joseph beside Him, began His earthly life in such a place as this. You can hear and smell the animals and have trouble believing that there was no more suitable place.
Turn your thoughts away from the surroundings and focus solely on the child. Maybe he moves His little closed fists. Maybe He utters a small cry. Maybe He opens His eyes and looks directly at you. What is your reaction? Those tiny eyes peering directly into your soul and touching a part of you that has never been touched before. Would there be tears? Would you be on your knees?
One day, every knee will bow before Him and every tongue will confess that He is the Christ, our Lord. All will worship Him and this will bring glory to God the Father.
It may be more difficult to picture the time that He returns than it was His birth. There is so much we don't understand, and may even fear. All who have denied His Lordship, or even His existence, will know the truth at this moment. We all will realize that we are sinners and are unworthy of His salvation. Yet, for those who have truly repented and believed, eternal salvation is real.
He isn't a baby anymore and we never know when His return will be, but the time will come. We may have years ahead of us, or we may have only moments. Whether we are alive on the day of His coming or meet Him after our deaths, the question remains. Will we be ready to bow?