The Christmas Worship Challenge
“My soul exalts the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. “For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.“And His mercy is upon generation after generation
Toward those who fear Him.
What Does Exalt Mean?
It is a word we don’t use much, yet we exalt things constantly. In many ways, we live in a culture of hyper-exaltation. We just don’t always make choices that honor God.
To exalt means to elevate; to raise in rank, honor, or character; to praise. Many Bible translations use the similar word, magnify, to enlarge or to show as great.
During Christmas, we exalt all kinds of things, special people, favorite traditions, gift-giving, decorating, partying… my attention is often centered on creating the Perfect Holiday.
Exalting the Perfect Holiday or the Perfect Savior?
You know what I mean…I decorate our home, bake all kinds of scrumptious treats, wrack my brain for the perfect gift, envision fire-side family times…you catch my drift. There have been times when the doing of Christmas has over-shadowed the reason for the season. On some level, I have often elevated the secular over the sacred. This is something that easily happens by default. We don’t mean to get swept away all of the excitement and expectation. Here’s where today’s worship tips can help us out!
Worship Tip: Rejoice Spontaneously
Today, I stop, and take a cue from Mary as she first receives the news of the soon-coming, Holy-Spirit conceived birth of the Messiah. First response, immediate and spontaneous—to exalt and magnify God.
Do you ever feel a little overwhelmed by all of the Christmas craziness? Do you ever feel the tug of loneliness at the fun everyone else seems to be having? Do you ever look at the many happy family photos that arrive in Christmas cards and feel the sadness of the sometimes messiness of family? For many, Christmas is the most difficult time of the year.
Faced with news that could have been overwhelming, Mary chose to trust God with a heart quick to rejoice. When we rejoice and praise God, faith is stirred up as we put our attention on God—His strength, presence, and faithfulness. He is exalted through our joy and praise. Powerful.
Powerful for Mary, and powerful for us.
Worship Tip: Praise Specifically
In this brief passage, Mary gives specific reasons in praising God:
- Savior Holy
- Mighty One
- Doer of great things for me
- Willing Giver of mercy to generations
Exalting God in the midst of our circumstances reminds our wandering souls that He has always been and always will be…faithful with the living grace of His mercy.
- “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”—Hebrews 4:16
Today’s Worship Challenge:
Take time today to follow Mary’s example. Let your spirit rejoice. Exalt God with your praise. Make your own list of reasons that you find joy in the Lord. Race the clock–see how many praises you can write down or say aloud in two minutes. You might be surprised to find that you will continue to praise Him through out the day.
- “Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”—Psalm 103:1 NLT
- “I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”—Psalm 34:1 NAS
Enjoy this beautiful Irish flavored song of Mary’s Magnificat by Keith and Kristyn Getty
Leave a comment and share one reason you are exalting in the Lord today!