40 Blogs of Lent – Day 36
Church is worship
What is Church – Day 4
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose,and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he enquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
What is the church all about?
These men who came to see Jesus are about worship – they saw a star at its rising, which would have been in the east, and went west, the opposite direction. They had found the meaning of the star and had a determination to find the King of the Jews they first visited Jerusalem, which was where you would find a Jewish king, and despite having setbacks they kept on going. If pagan mystics can have such a determination to find Jesus, what about us? Are we set on pursuing Jesus?
That is what the church is all about. The church is about Jesus, the church is about worshipping Jesus, glorifying Jesus, about lifting him up as king. Christians made to glorify Jesus and are saved to worship Jesus.
These wealthy foreign men told Herod that they wished to worship the new born king and later in Bethlehem they bowed down and worshipped the child of a poor Hebrew teenager.
The Greek word used by Matthew for worship is προσκυνῆσαι. The root of the word, proscunio, means to come towards to bow down kiss the hand of the master. It has a sense of intimacy but also of reverence and submission. They worshipped. Educated men reacted by getting down low.
We have hindsight, We know the end of the story. We know what happened to the baby We know that Jesus died on a cross, was raised from the dead, ascended to heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father, the place of honour, We are told that all will bow down before Jesus. What we do now as Christians is what everyone will do. One day we will be face to face with Jesus in worship. We start that worshipping now.
These educated pagan men came and they opened their gifts:
Gold – fit for a king.
Frankincense – denoting worship.
Myrrh – embalming oil.
But the greatest thing they did was worship.
It is important that God’s people come together to worship. We need to stir and encourage each other. You need to be with others and they need to be with you.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.