15 Dec Our Worship at Christmastime – Brian Asbury
Worship is most commonly connected with music. I believe this is appropriate, for we must worship through song. Even though worship goes far beyond singing a few songs once a week, it is a commanded form of worshiping the Lord. About that, I want to discuss Christmas songs. They are annoying to some and adored by others. Some people cannot wait for the carols to stop playing on the radio while others start listening to Christmas music in July. For many people, it is difficult to “worship” while singing a Christmas song. They are very traditional songs that we have sung for numerous years and you can change the arrangement or add drums and electric guitars, but a Christmas carol is always a Christmas carol. If this is the case, which I believe to be true, how can Christmas relate to our worship, and more specifically, our worship through song? This is something that is not easy but let me begin by explaining the true reason for Christmas.
Undoubtedly to most, Christmas is the busiest time of the year. From gifts, to decorations, to family visits and wonderful meals, it is certainly easy to overlook why we even celebrate this holiday. We all know the popular phrase, “Jesus is the reason for the season”. And everyone needs to be reminded of that from time to time. However, I want to take a slightly different approach when defining the purpose of Christmas. The Christmas season, for Christians, is a time to intentionally and specifically reflect on the coming of Christ. Jesus, an equal part of the triune God, holy and perfect, draped himself in the flaws and limitations of this world. He relinquished His authority to become a man for the conclusive purpose of dying on a cross to save a broken and lost world. The birth of Jesus was to open the door between God and man; to restore the relationship that was lost by sin. Jesus came as a child to save the world. That is the purpose for celebrating this season, the birth of Jesus is the commencement of the Gospel. Christmas is about worshiping Christ in return for what He has done. Loving Him and expressing our fullest gratitude is the response a Christ follower should exemplify during this season. The reason for Christmas is the very reason why we can worship.
Let me be clear, you could not enter into a personal relationship with God if it were not for the coming of Christ. You could not believe and trust in the name of Jesus if there was no Jesus. We could not openly come to the Heavenly Father with our requests, needs and desires or pursue Him in holiness and passionate worship if it were not for the birth of the Son of God. Our lives are changed because of the cross, we have a confident hope because of the empty tomb but both of those are nothing more than a mere collection of atoms if it were not for the man that died on that cross and left that tomb. Jesus Christ is the reason we have life and hope and He is the reason why we have the opportunity to have a relationship with the God and Creator of the universe. I say all of that to say this, do not belittle the coming of Christ. I do believe that the majority of Christians never intentionally depreciate the reason for Christmas, but my goal is to open your eyes to the reality of Christ’s birth. His birth is more than just the “reason for the season”, His birth is the beginning of the Gospel and therefore the foundation of the deliverance of our souls.
In conclusion, how can we worship during this season? Focus on the birth of Christ and understand the significance that it holds. Sing Christmas carols with joy and praise for God sending His Son and read Luke 2 with the same attitude. Give with a joyous heart and spread the Good News that our King has come!