Each week Christians gather together to worship the Lord through prayer, praise and listening to the Word of God. However, it occurs to me that like anything that is done with constant repetition, the very act of worship becomes little more than a mechanical action, devoid of purpose and meaning. No wonder, as Christians, we often sense that something is missing.
In the meandering sojourn of my own spiritual journey I have gone through several periods where I felt especially dry and mechanical in worship services, at times to the point where I avoided participating altogether. Eventually I discovered several pertinent scriptures that helped me through these arid times and I want to use this article to share those valuable scriptures with you. You see, I think many of us do not fully realize just who and what this Christ is that we have pledged to follow.
Just who is this Christ that we worship? Just who is this being that we call our Lord and Savior? Is he a man that lived a little over 2,000 years ago? Yes? Was he a carpenter from Nazareth? Yes. Was he God’s son? Yes.
But he was so much more.
With these thoughts in mind, let’s pause for a little while and reflect a bit on just who this Jesus we worship is. Going back to the basics, let’s take a look at just who and what it is we are worshipping and, further, let’s see if we can recapture purpose and meaning in our times spent with the Lord, whether in public or in private.
I want to start with asking you to reflect for a moment on creation. By creation, I mean the natural world. Just spend a little time contemplating the complexity, intricacy and wonder that surround us on a daily basis. Now, consider what kind of being, possessing what kind of intelligence, brought all this into existence. Science tells us that if the earth was tilted just a fraction of a degree different than it is, life could not exist.
It is important that we come to understand just who this Christ is. Open your mind and your heart to the reality of just who and what we are dealing with when we encounter Christ. Above all, don’t let your Christ be too small. Go back to scripture and discover the true wonder of it all. Let’s start with Colossians.
“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and was supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made all the things we can see and the things we can’t see – such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.”
Christ himself, speaking through the pen of Solomon, long ago gave us a hint as to his nature and his identity.
“The Lord formed me from the beginning, before he created anything else.
I was appointed in ages past, at the very first, before the earth began.
I was born before the oceans were created, before their springs bubbled forth their waters. Before the mountains were formed, before the hills, I was born – before he had made the earth and fields and the first handfuls of soil.
I was there when he established the heavens, when he drew the horizon on the oceans. I was there when he set the clouds above, when he established springs deep in the earth. I was there when he set the limits of the seas, so they would not spread beyond their boundaries. And when he marked off the earth’s foundations, I was the architect at his side. I was his constant delight, rejoicing always in his presence. And how happy I was with the world he created; how I rejoiced with the human family.”
Now we come to the most amazing part of our exploration. This magnificent being that was formed from the beginning before anything else decided to come down out of the heavenly realms. He chose, through love for us, the most incredible act possible, the most outrageous and unexpected course of action possible. He took on human flesh, dressed himself up in an earth suit and showed up as an infant lying in a manger, grew up and walked among us. Why would a being such as he do such a thing? It boggles the mind.
“Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges, he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.”
Only God’s great love for fallen humanity can account for his committing such an unthinkable thing. Who among us can truly fathom the depth of his actions? Now, let’s go back to scripture to see just exactly what he did.
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it. God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believe him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn, not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son….From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the one and only Son is himself God and is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.”
John 1:1-14; 16-18
For more clarification, let’s revisit Colossians and continue our study of what Paul tells us about Christ:
“Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is the first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.”
And finally, let’s return to Christ’s own concluding counsel as he spoke in Proverbs:
“And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful. Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. But those who miss me injure themselves. All who hate me love death.”
Think about it.