Worshiping at the Manger
I think about how great of a sacrifice that must have been for Jesus to give up all He had for a manger. For that alone, He deserves our worship. As you can imagine, the angels were ecstatic and had to spread the good news. They came down from Heaven declaring “Glory to God!” “A Savior has been born!” and people as lowly as shepherds headed over to the stable to figure out what all the fuss was about. Later on, the wise men came to give Jesus rich gifts and sacrifices. The first thing the manger shows us about worship is that it is to be expressed by all people. No matter the phase in life you find yourself in, Jesus has made room for you by the manger.
Could you imagine being Mary, watching all of this unfold when just nine short months ago you had been told you were having the world’s savior? Luke 2:19 says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” The word worship literally means to reverently adore God. God wants us to value Him, to admire all that He has done and to be crazy about our relationship with Him. This doesn’t always have to look like King David dancing naked in the streets; it can also look like Mary quietly mediating on the goodness of God. Let all that God has done for you sink deep into your heart and worship will be your only response. The manger is that place we can show our gratitude.
The Manger is also a place of pursuit. The Bible never says how much ground the shepherds had to cover once they had found Jesus, but even the smallest of fields can go on for miles upon miles. The shepherds had to go after Jesus. They had to make the conscious decision to put aside their plans for the evening and search for a glimpse of the one thing they had been hoping for. How many times do we struggle even opening our mouths to sing on a Sunday morning because we just don’t feel like it? In order to worship Jesus, we must set aside our plans, thoughts and emotions. Finding the manger must become the only thing on our agenda.
Mangers were never intended to be places of worship but rather places of nourishment. In that Manger we find the greatest fulfillment we could have ever hoped for. Just like that manger, God uses worship to nourish our spirit so that we might have a more fulfilling relationship with Him.