Come and Worship the Lord! - January Observer Message

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him,” (Matthew 2:1-2). The Magi came later. It was not the same night as Jesus’ birth in the stable. Magi is another name for wise men. We are not told how many there were, although three is a common number used, maybe because of the three gifts mentioned in the Bible (gold, incense, and myrrh).

January 6th is Epiphany, which means, “a showing, being revealed, made known.” It is the date to celebrate the revealing of the Christ child to the wise men from the east. It has also been called the Gentile Christmas day. It is a season of the church year where Jesus is shown and revealed as the Son of God, the promised Savior. It is especially a time to come and worship that Savior.

COME to your worship service opportunities. The Magi came to Bethlehem to worship. They came probably a long distance. Most of us come to church in cars and vans. Most of us probably drive farther to work than to church. The distance to church should be “no problem” for us. The Magi came without delay. They made no excuses. By nature we are sinful, therefore, by nature we are not going to want to come. Our excuses might include: sleep, a day off, family day, company is here or is coming, meal to prepare, car is cold, or some other event. The Magi came when they saw the star. The star of God’s Word points us to the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. We have seen that Word. We come because of the Word that is taught and proclaimed, leading us to Jesus our Savior.

WORSHIP our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Magi came to worship the newborn King. They wanted to give Jesus their worship. They brought their praise. Maybe they sang as they came from the east as we also sing hymns of praise to God. They brought their thanks to this new King. Jesus was the promised One. He is our promised Messiah as well. They brought their gifts, their offerings. Do we bring our offerings cheerfully and willingly as they did? Look at what Jesus paid out for us – His life – to free us from hell. They brought their prayers to God. We too talk to God in our prayers. We too call upon Him. God likes it when we pray to Him. The Magi brought their time. They did not know how long they would be gone on this trip to worship this Savior. It would be more than sixty minutes, I’m sure. They brought their lives. They dropped everything and left following the star. We follow God’s Word in our journey to see the Christ and live for Him.

As a member of St. John’s, we have the privilege to worship together regularly and faithfully for our spiritual good. Jesus says, “He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God,” (John 8:47)). Are we coming to hear? And the temptation the devil will throw at us will be to worship as few times as possible, instead of worshipping as often as possible. God says to us, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching,” (Hebrews 10:25).

And moms and dads, what can we do to encourage regular and faithful worship service attendance? Our children look to our examples. What do our children learn from our words and our examples? Parents, we know our Savior’s wish: “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these,” (Mark 10:14). Oh, how our Savior longs to take our children in His arms for one reason and one reason alone – “to bless them,” (Mark 10:16). Let us not be found hindering our children from receiving the blessings the Savior wants to pour out on them by His Word. And don’t permit all the activities of this busy life to pull and push us away from the one thing needful for ourselves and our children – God’s Word.

Come to all our worship service opportunities. Worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Having faith in Jesus who has saved us from the punishment of hell, our desire will be to come and worship!

Pastor Rodney Warnecke