Sunday, December 20, 2015

Advent XXII

Sometimes moments of worship surprise us.  They come out of the blue, slipping into our consciousness without any warning.  One moment we are sitting midst the mundane, minding our own business, and suddenly we find ourselves on holy ground.  It has happened to us as we walked into the evening and there was majesty lighting up the evening sky.  It has happened when a friend spoke a word of hope to us when life seem to be falling into pieces around us.  It has even happened while we were sitting in some pew getting ready to do our routine Sunday business.
Those shepherds of long ago who were visited by angels no doubt had such an experience of worship.  One moment they were sitting around the fire, telling stories, warming themselves by the heat of the flames and the wine being passed around, and suddenly everything changed.  Heaven dropped in for a visit by way of a angel announcing the birth of a Savior followed by an angelic choral group who sang a glorious song of praise to God.  Their response to what God was doing in their midst was their spontaneous act of worship.  I have always imagined their initial fear parralled the fear of the disciples on the Mt. of Transfiguration.  When they dug themselves out of the  dirt, they went to Bethlehem.  Fear and awe is not such a bad response to God making Himself known. 

It is unfortunate that there is so little fear and awe expressed in our worship.  Perhaps, we have a relationship with God that has become too casual.  He is not our buddy, but our God.  We talk about Him in terms which speak of such familiarity that there is no room for the holiness which is so much a part of His nature.  When we stand in the presence of God, it is not time for backslapping and flippant greetings, but taking off our shoes, and then standing in awe at the majesty of our God who seeks us out to bless.  

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