My mother’s side of the family used to have a large Christmas Eve gathering at my grandparent’s home. I loved that event more than I can describe. The food was awesome. I loved hanging out with my cousins. The gifts around the Christmas tree were bountiful. My grandmother always got us cousins the most bizarre gifts. In later years, for example, the men would be hooting and hollering about the zany neckties that she found and somehow thought we would like.
Tradition was that before we could get to the gift opening, my grandfather read Luke’s version of the Nativity from the King James Version, and then we would sing a carol or two. Maybe some of your families practice this as well. How many of you had the thoughts that I so often did, “Can’t we get through this quicker so we can open the presents? I already know the story! It’s the same every year!”
I was feeling physically torn up by this story. It wasn’t just emotional. It was like a jamming signal that made me unable to hear the story, and barely care. I could hardly think straight.
The gifts were blocking the worship.
I still feel a bit of that disturbance each year, even as an adult. How about you?
I need to meditate on the story. Christmas is a supreme time to worship. So light up your houses and worship. Make the family dinners and worship. Give gifts and worship. Make worship central to your lives this Advent. Perhaps it can be a conspiratorial worship of sorts. Maybe worship needs to jam the signal being sent by our culture. Maybe the worship can help us see the Lord’s purposes for the birth of Christ in a whole new way.
Worship Fully is the first in our advent series The Advent Conspiracy.