“And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11 ESV).
The word “worship” comes from the Middle English, “weorthscipe,” literally meaning to “ascribe worth.”
We were created to worship. From dandelions to dinosaurs, no other creature but man has the capacity for worship. We have a God-given desire for it. So, we’re going to spend our worship on something. It’s not a question of whether we will worship, it’s a question of what and how we will worship.
Worship might be described in two parts:
- Recognizing someone or something’s worth.
- Giving it or them what they’re worth.
When the Magi traveled from the East looking for the one “born King of the Jews,” they first encountered His counterfeit, the usurper Herod the Great. This half-Jew, half-Idumean took the throne that never belonged to him and demanded the worship of a people that belonged to God. He even “super-sized” the Jewish Temple to move the focus from God to his own “greatness.”
I’m sure the Magi were confused by the contrast between the gold and glamour of Herod’s palace and the humble house that they found in Bethlehem. Yet their pursuit for the true king won out. They followed the star. They were overjoyed as they fell on their faces, worshiped, and presented their treasures to Jesus.
We still have a choice between worshiping King Herod or King Jesus. There is still a battle between this world’s kingdom and the kingdom of heaven for our worship.
This Christmas, why not join the Advent Conspiracy? The word advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means “coming.” The season of Advent has been celebrated by Christians for centuries as a way to prepare and remember that Christ has come and is coming again. The idea of an “Advent conspiracy” is that we would go against what the consumer culture of this world has made of it and instead remember the real reason for the season.
Who will win the battle for your worship? Let’s focus less on giving presents and more on celebrating His Presence during this Advent season.