Dearest Members of Bethlehem,
“O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant! O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem; come and behold him, born the king of angels: O come let us adore him…” O Come, All Ye Faithful, ELW 283
The preparations are in their final stages. The manger will find its way to the front of the sanctuary. The handheld candles will be ready to distribute. The Poinsettias will be placed perfectly for maximum visual effect. The copier in the office will rarely cease its humming as the bulletins are printed.
The preparations will be made. Invitations will be shared. We know what to expect and we are giddy with anticipation. What should we do with all this blessed energy?
Come… you faithful believers, come to Bethlehem (whether in-person or online, it’s just fine either way), and then… “let us adore him, Christ the Lord!” Yes, that’s how will get the most of the day, through heartfelt adoration.
I think the hymn writer (in this case, John Francis Wade) was definitely onto something, adoration might just be one of the finest forms of faithful worship.
Adoration is one of those things that just happens… mostly with little ones. We often say things like, they are just adorable. In other words, they are able to be adored, and so we do adore them.
We sweep up a little one in our arms, or maybe watch them from afar, and then… well, we marvel at the wonder of it all. A smile creeps across our faces, and our hearts are warmed. When we are busy adoring, our imaginations have been captivated, distractions have been dispersed, and we are caught up entirely in God’s glory and beauty breaking into the world.
This is especially the case at Christmas, this little one that we are adoring is the “Christ-child,” the Savior, the Redeemer… wrapped in bands of cloth, laid in a manger, the light of the stars plays on His cheeks, and you can almost hear the faint coos echoing through the ages. And if you listen closely enough to those subtle sounds, the sacred reverberations, you can hear the deep deep Truth… this Messiah is yours.
I’ll see you all soon, I can hardly wait to witness the adoration commence all over again!
Question for reflection:Who would you classify as a “hall of fame” hymn writer?