Each year, our Sunday morning Advent readings help us redirect our hearts and minds from the busyness of our calendars to the reason we spend so much of this season in celebration. John 1:14 reads, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Where do you go to worship? For most of us, we think of “worship” as what happens in this room on Sunday mornings. That’s true, of course. But worship is so much more. We don’t stop worshiping when we leave this room. Worship happens everywhere we go, because worship is how we value what’s most important to us. We build our lives around what we worship. We invest our time, talent, and treasure in it. Everyone, everywhere, is worshiping something.
We’re either worshipping Jesus Christ, the one true God, or we’re worshiping false gods, which the Bible refers to as idols. At Christmastime, the world around us is worshiping what money and possessions can provide or idealized images of family life or a peace that doesn’t require Jesus. Even if we spend Sunday mornings in church, it’s easy to get caught up in the world’s worship during this season. But, Exodus Church seeks to be a redeemed people who worship and serve God in the world. So, a good question to ask ourselves this Advent season is: what am I worshiping?
Some familiar characters that we often talk about at Christmas can help us answer this. In Matthew chapter 2, the wise men, or magi, travel to Jerusalem to worship the new king of the Jews. These wise men valued this new king highly enough to spend weeks or even months traveling to find him. They spent their talents interpreting the movement of the stars and the Jewish scriptures; and they spent their treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We don’t know whether the wise men had a saving faith in Jesus, but we do see them practicing worship. They devoted their time, talent, and treasure to see the newborn king.
Where are we spending our time, talent, and treasure this Advent season? When we look at our calendar and our bank account, what do they show we value the most?
If we’ve been worshiping something other than Jesus, there is good news. The good news—the gospel—is that Jesus came to save idol worshipers. We need to be rescued from our old ways of worship that make us anxious, enslave us, and destroy us.
Only God can point our hearts away from false idols and towards life in Christ. And he does this for everyone who asks. So you might take a moment now to ask God to change your worship, to make Jesus more valuable to your heart. Then, let’s worship together, starting in this room today, and everywhere we go this week.
Come, let us adore him—Christ, the Lord.