“Worship is God’s idea; in fact, He created us to be people that worship. We are made for His pleasure, and our worship pleases Him very much.”
Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Life
Give God the Gift of Worship this Christmas
I love Christmas! I look forward to decorating the tree, pulling out ornaments sweet-made by young hands of kids now grown tall. I can’t wait to get that first Christmas card, usually from my friend Karen. Traditions abound and there are so many fun events and gatherings. I’ll admit that shopping isn’t my favorite-I often struggle to think of that great gift…let alone find it…on sale. The baking, the decorating, the festive, merry-making–I enjoy all of it.
This photo brings the sting of tears sweet and longing as I remember the joy of Grandmas and kids making sugar-cookie yumminess. Christmas memories are a treasure as the years pass.
Beginning with the marketing and shopping frenzy of Black Friday, the Christmas season is ushered in with the brash call of commercialism. Our calendars are packed tight with activities and celebrations. Anticipation and expectation build. With all of the goings-on, I often find myself caught up in the roll-tide of activity. The fun and excitement of the Christmas season often distracts me from truly appreciating the One we celebrate. There is a part of each one of us that is made to worship, to enjoy communion and relationship with God. This part of me aches with frustration when I find myself caught tight in an over-crowded schedule of commitments and expectations.
Each year, I try to approach the coming season with organization. Somewhere I have a list of ways to prepare for Christmas ahead of time, tips like write your Christmas cards in September and shop the after-Christmas sales for next year. I have no idea where this list of efficiency is. And somehow, the day after Christmas, I am too exhausted to even think about fighting the crowds to shop for…next year?!
None of this eases the ache of distraction that time quiet and reverent with God heals. This year, by the grace of the One born at Christmas, I want to do it differently.
I am rearranging my to-do list, re-ordering my priorities.
This year, I want to daily practice the habit of worship, to cherish the presence of Immanuel, God with us. This year I place a hedge of protection over my spirit by placing worship at the top of my Christmas To-Do list. Now I am not talking about locking myself away, ignoring or by-passing all of the festivity. Not at all. This year I am choosing wisely and putting the best first.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
This verse applies to how we approach the Christmas season. The spiritual principal here is profoundly practical. In a few words, Jesus teaches us how to keep our priorities in order.
This Christmas, I want to seek Him first…
and carry the blessing with me into all of the other things I do each day this busy, wonderful, joyous December.
Can it be that choosing to worship first, that we will be better equipped spiritually and practically to enjoy all the wonder of Christmas?
So here’s the challenge…
I invite you to join me as I seek to increase my heart for worship. I ask God to open our hearts to seek Him daily with an intention to worship and treasure the true wonder of Christmas.For myself, my goal is to take time each day to worship. This is my simple prayer, “Lord, teach me to worship with a greater vision of the majesty and worthiness of Christ.”
You may be thinking, “Nice thought, but I don’t have time.” My goal is to keep this short, giving a few thoughts to chew on. The challenge is to work on developing a mindset to worship, to enjoy God’s presence throughout the day.
Let’s do this together and experience the joy that comes from worshiping Christ. This challenge will not be complete without participation. Let’s encourage one another and share insights, experiences, and blessings that come with being intentional in worship this month. Get ready to rejoice!
by Ginger Harrington