Who will come and worship the God Son? He is the great God; he is the Lord. The God deserving of all praise and honor. Everyone should come and pay homage to the great king. But hardly anyone comes.
Kingdoms don’t come. Kings don’t come. The wealthy and educated don’t come. Even his own people, Israel, do not come. Nearly all the world misses the birth. But in the upside-down goodness of God, complete and unworthy men find him.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. Matthew 2:1-2 ESV
The wisemen were religious men from the East. Most likely they were priests of Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrianism believed in an uncreated god of goodness. They also believed in an uncreated god of evil. Creation was one large battlefield between good and evil. In the stars, they looked for signs of this cosmic struggle. It is the religion that is the ground of modern day astrology.
Needless to say, they were not orthodox in their beliefs. But they were seeking. The willingness to travel from present day Iran to Bethlehem reveals commitment, belief and devotion however wrongly grounded. From a false religion, they find Jesus.
Then, they meet the baby in the manger. God as infant is a radical idea. Infants are completely defenseless and passive agents in the world. Everything but breath requires help from others. This is the God they encounter. In his helplessness, Jesus is accessible. When they met him,
…they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11 ESV
He received their worship and their offerings. It was pleasing and acceptable to God. This shows the radical subversive nature of Christmas. It declares that all are welcome to draw near to God in Christ. There are no barriers and no perquisite requirements. Not even for astrologers!
Oh come and adore him!
This Christmas don’t put God into a nice religious box. Don’t decide who is in and who is out. All are welcome to come and see the God who became flesh.
Racists, gays, atheists, pagans, convicts, Muslims and the wrongly religious are all welcome without precondition to draw near and encounter God in Christ. It is true, all are welcome.
Come and worship the king!
1) The Bible says that God is the God who sits on the throne of grace. Thrones are symbols of power. They declare the essence of a sovereign. The symbol of his power declares his favor is given without condition. The birth of Jesus embodies this truth. Do you believe this good news? Why or why not?
2) The Christian faith has always struggled with who is an insider and who isn’t. What does the Christmas story teach us?
3) Share with someone who needs to hear that they are invited to come and see just as they are. Help them encounter the accessible God.