Devotional Thoughts from O Come All Ye Faithful…

Astonish yourselves and be astonished; 

blind yourselves and be blind! 

Be drunk, but not with wine; 

stagger, but not with strong drink! 

10  For the Lord has poured out upon you 

a spirit of deep sleep, 

and has closed your eyes (the prophets), 

and covered your heads (the seers). 

11 And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot read.” 

13  And the Lord said: 

“Because this people draw near with their mouth 

and honor me with their lips, 

while their hearts are far from me, 

and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, 

14  therefore, behold, I will again 

do wonderful things with this people, 

with wonder upon wonder; 

and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, 

and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.” 

15  Ah, you who hide deep from the Lord your counsel, 

whose deeds are in the dark, 

and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?” 

16  You turn things upside down! 

Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, 

that the thing made should say of its maker, 

“He did not make me”; 

or the thing formed say of him who formed it, 

“He has no understanding”?

Isaiah 29:9-16 ESV

When does worship happen? I suppose we might answer, congregational worship happens every Sunday as we gather. I think that is reasonable, but the staggering reality is that not all congregants are truly worshipping. For our benefit, as we think about worship here, let’s use our Christmas Carol to help us define what we mean by worship. “O come, let us adore Him”. To adore God is more simply understood to be passionately loving/worshipping Him with our heart, mind, and actions. 

Let’s further illustrate the idea of worship as adoration with the passage we read in Isaiah 29. The prophet here is recounting God’s words as He saw the hearts of His people being “far from Him” despite their religious words and actions. Jesus, in Matthew 15 quotes this passage from Isaiah because the Pharisee’s were faithfully religious but they were not truly worshipping. Their hearts had become “calloused”, “gross”, “dull”, or we might say their hearts did not adore Him.

We should all be careful as individuals to take inventory of our own hearts. As we come every Sunday, is our motive to adore Him? Daily, as we come to God in prayer and/or Bible reading, is our motive to adore Him? Think of adoration as a fire. This is a common metaphor. We talk about our love for God being “hot or cold”, and being “on fire for God”. William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army, is credited with saying, “The tendency of fire is to go out; watch the fire on the altar of your heart”. Amen. Let’s ask ourselves, is the flame of my adoration blazing or flickering?

So what do I do? Let me give you three thoughts. First, give thanks to God who has already begun to stir your heart. Second, spend time focused on who Jesus is and all He has done. Third, immediately begin doing everything with this disposition of heart.

Song Lyrics…

Author: Latin hymn, 18th century

1 O come all ye faithful, joyful, and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem! Come and behold Him born the King of angels!

Chorus O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord!

2 Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation, O sing, all ye bright hosts of heav’n above! Glory to God, all glory in the highest!

Chorus O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord!

3 Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning, Jesus, to Thee be all glory giv’n; Word of the Father, now in the flesh appearing!

Chorus O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord!