“The fire has become flesh…” one writer said. Merry Christmas friends, and I trust you and your family are having a wonderful season together. As Paul was eager to do, enjoy your festivity, and also remember the poor. If the incarnation is about anything, it is about the needy, you and I, receiving what we most need.
I wrote this little thought on “time” the other day as a little article to our friends connected to www.WorshipMusic.com. I leave it with you as an Advent/Christmas thought, to possible bring some guidance to your year’s worship planning.
Time: A Sacred Ingredient In Worship
“It’s time for worship,” today’s church goer says. Time. What an interesting idea.
Time, according to the dictionary, is a way that human beings measure the change that happens all around us, and the connection of events to others – seasons, age, events, stories, generations. Time is a vital biblical idea, and for 2000 + years the faithful have regarded “time” as an essential an ingredient in our worship – as important as the songs we sing or the stories we tell.
What do I mean by this – that time is an essential, sacred ingredient in worship?
Well, if we use “time” to season our worship meal, we will begin to recognize that certain seasons in the Church’s story are celebrated just once a year, and we will creatively prepare for them each time they come around. Just as time comes and goes in our daily lives, so too we should use time to make memories, highlight important ideas and create a sense of expectation in the hearts of those in our worshiping community.
Let’s take Advent (from adventus, meaning “the coming”) for example. According to the historic Church calendar (a worship ingredient), this season is the beginning of the Church year. Advent anticipates what theologians call “the Christ event” (the incarnation). The Advent season itself is like a song, is a picture, a worship reflection, about the human longing for deliverance that led up to the first Christmas morning.
In our family and church, we make a big deal out of Advent. Music, candles, stories and events all play a part in causing us to yearly remember important truths we may have forgotten along the journey of life.
In this “time” of Advent and Christmas, recognize as a worshiper that your entire year, your every moment, is about to be guided by this amazing reality: God, in time, has acted. Your year can now begin fresh and God can redeem anything that happens, because Christ has come. The incarnation is transforming your world and mine. As Paul says in Colossians 1, “…In everything, he has supremacy.”
Welcome to the beginning of our year, to the reality that God acts in our everyday moments, and welcome again to the Christ event that changes… everything.