Come, Let Us Adore Him
Christmas seems to “officially” kick off during Thanksgiving, and then it gets busier and busier until its climactic occurrence in homes around the world. We get invitations to a variety of Christmas events – dinners, concerts, caroling, dinners, office parties, children’s performances, dinners, shopping marathons – and more dinners. The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas often become a blur, and before we know it, three things become obvious:
· our tree is ready to be put away or taken to the curb
· the wintry blast makes us want to put off taking down the outdoor Christmas lights until it’s warm
· the house no longer resembles the Christmas card that wives decorated it to be
One of the joys of the Christmas Advent season is to pause, to slow down long enough to focus on the essence of Christmas. I was thinking of the song, “O Come All Ye Faithful’” and the word “adore” occurs over and over.
Adoration. What is involved with adoration? I have a longer memory than some of our teachers, so when I recall hearing the word, I go back to my teenage days when a girl sighed in a class about a boy she liked. Her sigh was followed by “I just adooooore him!” I smile even now as I remember her dramatic extension of the word a young girl would use to describe her feelings about the boy/man of her dreams!
The dictionary does allow for the-is type of emotional response. It says “to like someone very much.” The other definition that reminded me more of the Christmas song and Jesus was “to worship or venerate.” The song beckons the singer first to ‘come.’ And then to “adore’ Him. Come is an entreaty to draw near, come closer. Then we can see the fullness and the beauty of the holy, the sacred. And all we can do is fall, like the wise men, and adore.
There is no mention in Luke 2 of the shepherds bowing down and worshipping the baby Jesus. This may well have happened, based upon their response to seeing the Christ Baby. Take a moment yourself to imagine seeing the promised Messiah, face to face! Even as a newborn!
Adoration is somewhat lost on us today. We are almost anesthetized to the spectacular. We as a culture overuse terms that have meaning to the point where they lose their impact. Consider the term ‘awesome.’ Think about it. Is a child’s drawing of an airplane really “awesome?” Is making a basket in the driveway “awesome? But that is an “awesome” discussion for another “awesome” day. “Adore” is just used much today, yet it has an impact when describing our worship of God and the Messiah.
To adore someone or something is “to elevate its value above everything thought to be important.” I wonder how many of us understand what adoration involves? Think about what we value. Is there room for adoration anywhere? Let’s look over at Matthew 2, where we no longer have a cradle resident named Jesus. The scene now opens to unveil a toddler Jesus, almost two years old, living in a house rented by Joseph and Mary.
The magi had met with Herod, who ironically told the men he wanted to know where he lived so he could “worship” him. The magi were not interested in Herod’s true motives; they had a mission to see this Messiah that had been foretold. They would later be warned by an angel about Herod’s phony “adoration.”
After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (2:11).
They had finally arrived at the one house in Bethlehem of Judea that contained true royalty. When their eyes saw this boy, they did not get their gifts out first and lay them at His feet. These magi, whether star gazers or truly wise men (if they traveled hundreds of miles to see Jesus, they get my vote as wise men!), were overcome with what they beheld.
These men of means, much older than this boy, came near and fell to the ground. They worshipped. They adored. No words are recorded, nor are they necessary. Their long journey had come to fruition, and they were more than satisfied; they were overwhelmed. The gifts that followed were tokens compared to what they just received from seeing the Christ. It is strange that Jesus walked the earth for 33 years, and so few ever saw Him for who He really was, yet these strangers from a pagan land like Persia knew the moment they saw Him that He was the Promised One, the Lord who would take away our sins that were as scarlet and make them white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).
The closer we come to the divine creates no other option. We come. We fall down. And we adore Him.
Come. Adore with me. Come near to the Messiah this Advent season.
Draw close. Adore Him, Christ, the Lord!
Dear Lord, you are majestic in your glory and radiance. You alone are holy. I adore you. You are the King of all kings and all angels. I come before your Presence, and I adore you. You are the Christ; you are the Lord Most High.
When I give gifts to others, let them remind me of the adoration you are worthy to receive, not just at Christmas, but for every day I live. Thank you for coming to us, Lord.
O come let us adore Him!
O come let us adore him!
O come let us adore Him!
Christ the Lord!
Here is the hymn “Come, All Ye Faithful.”
Randy L. Down