We heard a great Christmas Eve message yesterday at our family’s church here in Georgia. The pastor made an excellent point that I wanted to share with you…
The angels appeared to the shepherds to announce the joy of Jesus’ birth. Shepherds, due to the nature of their work, were considered ceremonially unclean & were unable to enter the Temple to worship. So those who were not “fit” to worship under the old covenant were among the very first to be invited into the new covenant, to worship the newborn King.
The star announced Jesus’ birth to the Magi from the East, and led them to him… so these pagan wise men were led by God to worship the King of the Jews.
Both of these groups of people, who would not have been able to worship in the Temple, were invited by God to worship Jesus. He came into their world, met them right where they were, and drew them to himself. He came into this world to draw all of us to himself!
There’s a line I love in the worship song What a Beautiful Name It Is that says, “You didn’t want Heaven without us / so Jesus you brought Heaven down.” That’s what Christmas is… Jesus bringing Heaven down to us, because the gap between us and God is way too big for us to be able to reach him through any amount of human effort.
Just like the shepherds & the wise men, we are invited to worship… regardless of our status in the eyes of the world, or if we think we’re unacceptable to religious people… even if we think we’re unacceptable to God himself! We are all invited to worship.
Think about it. God loves us so much that he came to earth & took on all the limitations of being human. He was both the helpless baby in the manger, and our suffering Savior who hung on the cross. This Christmas, let’s remember we are *all* invited into God’s story, because he came into ours.