As we come to the conclusion of the Advent season, a time when we wait and prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, my prayer is that we would be awestruck. Awestruck is to be filled with awe. Jesus left those that truly encountered Him with that one shared experience.
This season is the perfect microcosm of what happens everyday in our hearts. We have a potpourri of distractions and “noise” when our affections and amazement should be fully turned to celebrating the incarnate God’s entrance into this world and our daily lives. I’m not writing to rail on Christmas and the way its celebrated here in the West. But we would be blind if we didn’t realize that commercialism and consumerism works incessantly to hijack this season and its significance.
The plain truth is we’re all worshippers — not just those who have acknowledged Christ as their redeemer. Can any of us deny that we live each day pursuing, desiring and serving, something or someone? — in constant pursuit of peace — freedom from anxiety and a sense that everything essential is in place, purpose – a sense of fulfillment in and from our daily activities and praiseworthiness – a sense of identity and worth. This season more than others reveals our heart condition. We were designed to look unto God as the essential object of our worship but now we look unto a plethora of gods. In a season that’s entirely about Jesus we can be distracted by everything else. And in our distraction we find ourselves pursuing things that leave us empty and wanting, rather than the One who can meet our deepest needs.
Sin and the fall of mankind in the garden turned us awestruck, unceasing worshippers from the Creator and left us pursuing an innumerable amount of little gods in creation. Harold Best, Dean Emeritus, Wheaton College defines worship — “We are a continual outpouring of all that we are, all that we do, and all that we can become reverencing, pursuing and serving a god of our choosing or the God who has chosen us.” Creator and creature were designed to be tied together in mutual love, communion and work. We were designed for free, full and constant exchange between Creator and those made in the image of the Creator. Love to the continuation of love…giving to the continuation of giving…adoration to the continuation of adoration.
Our worship does not stop and start. Our constant worship ebbs and flows, takes on different expressions, is conscious and unconscious, intense and outwardly expressive, quiet and undetected but it is continuous. When we sin worship does not stop it turns to another object. Repentance is the turning of our worship from a little god back to the only One worthy of it. We will worship the Creator, seeking Him and living in His truth or we will worship the creation seeking peace, purpose and praiseworthiness where it can’t be found.
My sincere prayer during this season and as we enter into the new year is that we would become awestruck. Jesus left those that truly encountered Him with that one shared experience. May we like the Apostle Paul declare with our hearts and lives — “everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.” (Philippians 3:8,9) Awestruck.
perfect God. perfecting people.