Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Silent Night Holy Night"1 (Lyrics)
"O come, let us adore Him!", "Come and behold Him!", "Come to the manger!" (from Christmas carols)
More than ever, nativity scenes at Christmastime capture my interest. I appreciate their presence in our current cultural landscape, which shouts over quiet miracles like Christ's birth. But how do I myself capture the fervency of the clarion call, "O come, let us adore Him"? What compels me to respond with wide-eyed resolve, like the shepherds who said,
Luke 2:15b – Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about. (NIV)
Disney's The Lion King effectively conveys this fervency. It opens with an announcement resounding all over the land. The stirring animation draws the audience into the mood of expectancy. All the creatures essentially say, "Let's go and see this thing that has happened", and they set out with fervent resolve. We soon discover what it's about: A lion cub, Simba, has been born to the king of the beasts. When the animals see their future king raised before them, they erupt in joyous cheers. Then comes a breathtaking moment: Together they lower their heads to the ground in reverent adulation. The stunning scene makes me wonder, Can I ever worship Christ the newborn king with such passionate adoration? I believe so — by appreciating the miracle of birth as Jesus described to Nicodemus:
John 3:6-8 – Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, "You must be born again." The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. (NIV)
Here, Jesus portrays spiritual regeneration as a birthing: The Spirit births new life within people; it is the abundant life of the Son. When we see the growth of Christlike qualities, we are essentially witnessing a royal viewing. It is evidence of the King's Son governing His people. Yet, unlike Simba's grand royal viewing, the work of God is often hidden from the spotlight. We can't see where the wind of the Spirit blows. The Baby Jesus was also hidden from the spotlight. No one found the Child without God's help. For them, the royal viewing was in itself a miracle.
I often ask God to show me where He is working, so that I may be strengthened in faith. God answers my prayer by connecting me with those whom I'd never find otherwise. I cannot help but respond with grateful praise and adoration. I say, the God who helped the shepherds and the Magi find Baby Jesus can help you and me to discover His presence at work today.
Prayer: O Lord, open our eyes, our ears, and our minds to the miracle of Your presence in this world today that we may respond with grateful worship and adoration. Amen.