I was recently chatting with a few friends about the usual Christmas things we talk about this time of year: shopping, wrapping, family dynamics, traveling, and the last-minute craziness that hits the week before Christmas.
But then I was quickly reminded of what I love about these particular friends as I noticed our surface conversations move into deep waters as we began talking about Jesus.
Adore him by trusting him
Next thing I knew, we were talking about a favorite Christmas carol, “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful,” and specifically the words, “O come let us adore him.”
What does it truly mean to adore him? What does that even look like? What are practical ways to do this with our family as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior this week?
And so I did what any good blogger does when they hear good banter: I asked my friends to write a blog with me on adoring Jesus this Christmas. I hope these words speak to you like they did me and help you to pause this week and truly adore Jesus as we celebrate his birth.
I’m going to leave most of the words to my friends below, but I did want to weigh in on one thing as it relates to adoring Jesus. I think, for many of us, a great way to adore Jesus this Christmas is to simply trust him.
I personally know so many who are walking difficult roads with aging parents, wayward kids, the loss of a loved one, and much more. There are hard days this side of heaven that are confusing and painful, and by no means am I trying to minimize them.
But I think of Jesus’ words in John 16 cautioning us that in this world there will be trouble, but to take heart because he has overcome the world. As we celebrate our Savior who took the humble posture of being born a helpless infant in a stable, let us not forget that he has also won the ultimate battle on our behalf.
Whatever you’re struggling with, Jesus has overcome it.
Take a minute to adore him by resting in him. Give the worry and anxiety over to the mighty Savior who died on a cross so that you might live in eternity with him. Adore him this Christmas by holding loosely to the hard places of this earth, choosing to live in expectation of the faithfulness and goodness that awaits us in eternity.
O come let us adore him.
Adore him by choosing him
by Julie Hildebrand
There are two clear examples of adoring Jesus that encourage and challenge me this time of year. Both occur in Luke, and both involve women pointedly choosing him, making him their revered priority and focus. In both cases, each woman rubbed up against other people’s expectations of them, and these two women laid those expectations—and everything else—at Jesus’ feet.
The first example, found in Luke 7:35–50, involves a woman and one of the strangest, not-taught-in-cotillion exchanges at a dinner party. It may not seem strange if we grew up hearing this story in Sunday school, but look at it with new eyes today. It’s strange, to say the least, but Jesus received it as love.
Jesus is invited to dine with one of the Pharisees at his home. As Jesus reclines at the table, an uninvited woman enters the home, stands behind Jesus, and weeps over him. Her tears wet his feet, she wipes them up with her hair, and then she kisses and pours expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet.
There is an exchange between Jesus and the indignant Pharisee host about the woman’s actions, but Jesus boils what the woman did down to three words: “She loved much.” He wasn’t saying she loved others much and served others well. He meant, “She loved me much.”
Her love for him drove her right past protocols of invitations, personal space, and even her own pride—right to the feet of Jesus. And he felt adored.
The second example is another story we’ve likely heard before: the exchange between Mary of Bethany and her sister Martha in Luke 10:38–42. Mary and Martha have invited Jesus to their home, but while Martha focuses on hostess duties, her sister, Mary, focuses completely on Jesus.
As Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, Martha complained to Jesus that her sister was leaving her to do all the work (and, as we read these words, we can kinda see her point). But Jesus says there is another point: he’s the point.
All the preparations and distractions are inconsequential in comparison to the One being celebrated. As Martha pleaded her case to Jesus, he replied, “Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from her.” Mary, sitting adoringly at his feet, ready to learn from him and just be with him, was better than the tasks at hand.
I need to know, especially and oh-so ironically in December, that adoring Jesus, sitting at his feet, reading his Word, and praying in his holy name, is better than what others’ expectations of me or my arm’s-length to-do list.
O come let us adore him.
Adore him by raising regifters
by Jerica Olson
Each December, many people across the world celebrate the birth of Messiah. He is often referred to as “the greatest gift of all.” Mary gave birth to the restoration that a weary world had long anticipated. The shepherds gazed upon hope, freedom, and comfort lying in a manger.
Our rescue wrapped in flesh. Our good news. Our great joy. The gift that changes everything.
But I wonder how many of us, when asked how this gift changes your life, would say with tears of gratitude and without hesitation, “He changes everything”?
Five years ago, Jesus changed everything for me, and life has never been the same in all the best ways. His kindness melted my heart of stone. He gave me purpose. He comforted my broken heart. He brought healing to my marriage. He set me free from shame. He became my source so my kids didn’t have to be. He gave me his perspective. Joyful and triumphant went from being just words in a song to the banner over my life.
When this happens, adoring him becomes less of a struggle. You’re not as tempted to just go through the motions because you remember what life was like before you opened the gift. The only adequate response to such good news and great joy is a life of continual worship—always looking to give away to others what we, ourselves, have graciously come to possess.
One of the ways our family adores him is by regifting the greatest gift we’ve ever received. No, I’m not talking about the two-person Christmas sweater you got at your company Christmas party.
I’m talking about the gifts the Father has lavished upon us through his son. Things like love, kindness, hope, and joy are all great things to give away. And I’m determined to raise regifters!
There are opportunities all around us, especially at Christmastime. For instance, consider these family-friendly regifting ideas:
- Have a cookie-decorating playdate/party and give the cookies to neighbors, widows, or people with special needs at your local church.
- When everyone else is too busy to put away their shopping carts, you and your kids each grab one and return it.
- Write homemade Christmas cards for your kids to give away at the grocery store or at church.
- Show up to church ten minutes early and have your kids walk around, giving out hugs and candy canes to the senior adults.
- Stand outside your local jail during weekend visitation hours and encourage family members visiting loved ones through prayer, cookies, or notes.
I identify with the shepherds in Luke 2 whose whole world was changed by one encounter with Jesus. Their life goals went from watching their flocks to worshipping the King. If the value of a gift is measured by the change it brings, then Jesus is the greatest gift mankind has ever received. A gift I can’t help but adore. A gift I am determined to regift as often as possible.
Find ways to adore Jesus this Christmas, “for he alone is worthy.”
Find ways to “give him all the glory” today and throughout your life.
Praise and adore him now. It’s good practice for when “we’ll praise his name forever.”
O come let us adore him.