We do not worship baby Jesus.
As Christmas Day sweeps around the globe, many millions or perhaps billions of people will be celebrating the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago.
We, too, have celebrated His birth at a candlelight Christmas Eve service here in Nagoya, Japan. We will listen to carols during Christmas Day and “join with the angels” to sing “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill to all men …”
Yet we do not worship baby Jesus.
Later we will read how he grew up as a young boy who, when he was about 12 years old, was accidentally left behind in the temple, which he called “My Father’s house”.
Yet we do not worship this young boy.
Throughout the year we may read about how, from the age of 30 or so, Jesus “went around doing good”, healing the sick, casting out demons, and even raising some dead people to life.
Yet we do not worship the man who did these amazing things.
We may also read how he taught thousands of people about His Father, and what it means to be blessed; about the Kingdom of God, and the age to come.
Yet we do not worship a great teacher.
In a few months we will celebrate Easter and remember the time when Jesus was falsely condemned to death, suffered – as the creed says – under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried.
Yet we do not worship a martyr.
On Easter Sunday we will celebrate the fact – yes the fact – that He rose from death having conquered the enemy that all of us must face at some point.
Yet we do not worship a man who rose from the dead.
Forty days after Easter, we will remember His ascension to heaven, and now we’re getting to the point for …
We do not worship a baby … We worship Jesus, the Son of God, the Lord of Glory!
We do not worship a baby who grew into a young man, went about doing good, taught in the Israeli countryside and in Jerusalem, was praised by the people who, a week later, condemned Him to death, but rose to life again.
Who do we worship?
We worship Jesus, the Son of God, the Lord of Glory who, Paul wrote, “lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion. Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honoured him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honour of God the Father.”
All created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honour of God the Father!
Through Jesus, “God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating. We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment.”
Everything got started in Jesus and finds its purpose in him!
“By his Son, God created the world in the beginning, and it will all belong to the Son at the end. This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature. He holds everything together by what he says—powerful words!
“After he finished the sacrifice for sins, the Son took his honoured place high in the heavens right alongside God, far higher than any angel in rank and rule.”
By his Son, God created the world in the beginning, and it will all belong to the Son at the end!
Are you getting my drift?
We worship Jesus, “risen, ascended, glorified”. Jesus who one day will return to complete the Kingdom of Heaven on earth He came to inaugurate.
So this Christmas, remember the baby but worship the glorious Saviour of the World!