For many of us this Christmas will be different. We’re unlikely to be able to see the people we love and enjoy the usual seasonal festivities.
One of the many things I look forward to is singing carols and one of my favourites is “O come all ye faithful” with it’s rousing chorus that builds to a powerful crescendo; “O come let us adore Him.”
Help us to adore Him
As a child growing up we used to sing a popular hymn entitled, “Praise my soul, the King of heaven” and the words of fourth verse declared;
“Angels, help us to adore him;
Ye behold him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before him,
Dwellers all in time and space.
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise with us the God of grace.” *
This, perhaps more than any other time of year, is a time to remember and bring our worship and adoration to Jesus our Saviour and King.
Interestingly the actual verb ‘adore’ is only used once within the Bible. Solomon uses it in Song of Songs:
“How right they are to adore you.” (Song of Songs 1:4)
However I would suggest at this Christmastime we should pause for a moment to adore Him. He is worthy of ALL or praise. YES – even at the end of the most challenging, difficult and unprecedented year (just thought I’d drop that overused phrase in!).
The dictionary definition of ‘adore’ means to “worship as God or a God” or to “worship, express reverence and homage” and the verb means “to love intensely or deeply.”
Learning from the past
Within the Old Testament narrative we see many occurrences of adoration, reverence and homage being paid to God. Moses removing his shoes at the burning bush (Ex. 3:5), Joshua being visited by the commander of the Lord’s army (a theophany) outside Jericho and falling face down to the ground in reverence (Joshua 5:15). Abraham falling face down (Gen. 17:3) when the Lord appeared to him to make a covenant with him.
The Romans, as an act of homage or worship, would raise their hands to their mouth, kissing it and then waving it in the direction of the person they adored, which was usually the Emperor or the King, who they revered as gods. Sometimes they would kiss the feet of the person involved or lay hold of the royal robe and kiss it. All these things were signs of adoration, worship, homage and reverence.
I suspect as Christians that we can too easily lose our sense of adoration. Perhaps at times, too much familiarity and talk of ‘daddy God’ can result in a loss of reverence and awe towards the One who not only created the universe but rules the world as sovereign judge, ruler and King. As AW Tozer put it;
“Left to ourselves we tend immediately to reduce God to manageable terms.”
We must seek to get the balance right between God as our Father and as the righteous One who one day will judge the world. His omniscience, omnipresent and omnipotence is inexhaustible, immeasurable and unfathomable. He is eternal, immortal and indescribable (I’m struggling myself!) He is a mighty warrior and yet the Prince of Peace. He is personal and yet Almighty. A God of love, justice and mercy and a God who is pure and holy (Rev. 4). God is of course, way beyond my ability to describe Him….
The writer to the Hebrews reminds us;
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”” (Hebrews 12:28-29)
Re-discovering reverence, awe, wonder and adoration
Perhaps during this most unusual of years, possibly unhelped by the lack of corporate worship, we have lost our sense of awe, wonder, worship and adoration.
The psalmist declares:
“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” (Psalms 95:6-7)
Part and parcel of our adoration is expressing reverence and paying homage to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. There is no other god like Him. He is worthy of our praise and adoration.
I have to constantly remind myself that, whilst my life is far from perfect and it’s not how I would choose it to be right now, that I have so much to be thankful for.
So many have suffered loss in a multitude of ways this past year – we must be thankful for all that we do have.
We can surely be thankful that God revealed Himself to us in the form of an infant in Bethlehem.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
The child that changed our world and our lives for the better.
Let’s adore Him
So can I encourage you, in spite of the challenges, disappointments, frustrations and losses of this past year to adore Him.
Why not taken a moment right now to adore Him.
To bow your knee (literally if you can) and worship and adore Him with reverence and awe.
Join with the angelic hosts and worship Him for who He is
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!
*Song by Henry Francis Lyte, John Gross and Robert E. Kreutz