Psalm 95:6-7a NIV
“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.“
“Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices. O night divine. O night when Christ was born…”
My favorite Christmas carol of all time is O Holy Night. And it never fails, whenever I get to that phrase in the song, I get a lump in my throat and tears flood my eyes. Without even trying, the theatre in my mind bursts into action as I try and picture the scene. All of creation, the longing mankind experienced for so many years, leading up to the intensity of that moment. That night when we were finally introduced to our Savior in flesh form, Christ the Lord. And all we could do at the recognition of who He is, is fall to our knees and worship Him.
Probably one of the other reasons it’s so moving to me is because wrapped up in the scene of that night is a picture of my first introduction as well. I can still vividly remember the first time I knelt in worship before God. And while I didn’t “hear the angel voices“, I did very much get a sense that what I was doing in the natural – this outward act of humility, reverence and yieldedness to the authority of God over my life – that very natural act of bowing before Him, had a way of ushering me further into the Presence of God in a supernatural way. Something shifted when I did. I wasn’t just showing respect and honor. I became a worshipper.
Today, I feel led to simply say this: If you’d like to experience Christmas at a whole new level this year, take the next step in worship. Whatever that looks like for you. Is anything starting to feel, stale in your worship experience? Is there a barrier, a limit, you have stopped at in your worship before? Do you believe that Jesus is who He says He is, but maybe you’ve never been able to respond in a natural way? Has something ever felt “too extreme”? Then start in the privacy of your own space and time and take that next step.
Whether it be raising your hands in worship, crying out to God in prayer, bowing in His presence, singing out loud, clapping, dancing, moving, whatever it may be, break through the barrier this Christmas. There are depths in the Presence of God we have yet to experience. But breaking through to them will require a response on our part. It will require us to act. And trust me, there has never been a time (nor will there ever be a time on this side of eternity) when God does not respond in return to it, to us. Not as a harsh dictator or ruler, but like our verse today said, like a Shepherd who loves and cares for His sheep. “We are the people he watches over, the flock under His care.“