The Christmas Worship Challenge
Give God Glory…Joyful, Exuberant Glory!
Congratulations to those of you who have joined in the Christmas Worship Challenge as we usher in the joy of Christmas with hearts set to worship Christ first…and then enjoy the rest. How is it going? Have you discovered that when we worship, we are blessed?
My favorite Christmas movie is Elf—Check this 34 second clip out: I’m in a Store and I’m Singing (As one who is frequently sings (softly) in stores and is admonished by my teenagers , “Mom, stop singing–people will here you… ” I get a real chuckle out of this clip.)
I love the way Elf is totally able to jump into the moment and let loose with Christmas Cheer. In a way, that is our challenge today. Hang with me on this and see where we are going…
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Luke 2:10-11,13-14
Take a moment to step back in time and mentally place yourself with the shepherds that sacred night so long ago. With holy imagination, listen to the angel’s words as if you were there. In the lonely darkness, far from the warm comfort of hearth and home, the night sky is interrupted with news that will change the world. Good news that brings great joy…if these words filled our headlines today, would the world pay attention? Would we?
Consider the unusual way God announced the birth of His Son, the long-awaited Messiah. Suddenly a multitude of heavenly beings set the darkness ablaze with the glee of heaven. Praise fills the darkness with Angel-joy, loud and triumphant, “Glory to God in the highest…”
Worship Tip: Give God Glory with Whole-Hearted Praise
Are you ready for this? This one may stretch you out of your comfort zone, but go with me on this. We need to learn to release our tied-up hearts in giving God glory and praise. Ask God to fill you with His Spirit and let it rip!
Join with the Angel army giving God honor and worship. Rejoice in God’s goodness. Let loose some shouts of praise that Jesus is our Savior. Jump up and down for joy; get your feet moving in a glory-giving “Happy Dance.” Jesus has come. Jesus is here. Jesus is coming again!
Praise God for His presence that heals our peace-starved, heart-broken world. Let your heart soar with the God’s pleasure: “And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased”!
Give Him Glory! Remember what we are saved from—sin that separates us from God. Sin that twists and pollutes our hearts with rebellion, sickness, evil, lust, isolation, pain, and greed…just to name a few.
Here are a few more reasons to give our God-Who-Saves energetic praise and glory:
“[ The Incomparable Christ ] For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son…”—Colossians 1:13
Isaiah writes prophesy of the many saving actions of the Messiah:
“ The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
3 To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.”—Isaiah 61:1-3
If that doesn’t make you want to jump up and down, check your pulse, read it again, and make a list of the specific actions.
Now on with the Challenge:
For starters, you may want to do this when you are alone, just so you don’t feel self-conscious. Sometimes we’re funny that way. Or even better, if you have young kids, tell them you are going to have a Glory Parade for Jesus and do this together. Their excitement will fuel yours.
Crank up some praise music or upbeat Christmas carols and sing. Raise your hands and sing good and loud. Trust me on this…it’s going to be awesome! Here are a few songs to get you started:
Hillsong: Born is the King (It’s Christmas):This is a make-you-want-to-dance music video that is perfect for this post, complete with a joyous kid parade–they must have read my post! [youtube_sc url=Qf6OoAZbAQg]
This is a great worship video of Chris Tomlin’s: Joy to the World-Joy Unspeakable. [youtube_sc url=NLhb3qUA3uc]
Forget the silly inhibitions we often feel when we worship God in public. At least in the privacy of our home, let’s have the inhibition of Elf, rather than the reticence of Jovie. This time is for an audience of one, who will be absolutely delighted to see you put on your dancin’ shoes and put your whole self into worship.
When you are done, let’s encourage one another by sharing our exuberant praise. Share links to songs that you love. This is truly a challenge, and the more we hear from those who take this challenge, the more others will be spurred on to give it a try!