By Colin Stroud
“At the name of Jesus every knee shall bend, and every heart confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
A man’s heart is made for adventure, authenticity, and freedom. However, we rarely find the fulfillment of these desires. We read books, listen to podcasts, and go to seminars to find out how to become the best-version-of-ourselves, whatever that is, but come up short. What if the answer has already been found? What if the answer lies in the spirituality of some of the simplest men in the Gospel?
The first reaction to the birth of Christ was worship. When the angel appeared to the shepherds and told of the new King, they exclaimed a hymn of praise, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.”(Luke 2:14) Unashamed, overcome with the joy of the incarnation, these men joined the angels in what they were created to do; exalt His name in worship.
These men, living out their vocation in the silence of nature, after merely seeing the face of the child Jesus, cried out in praise to His name. “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen.” This cry is the cry of every man’s heart. This cry is a desire to love and exist for something greater than the self. This cry is the heart of worship.
Men were created to worship. It is a reaction that substantiates the glory and wonder of Christ’s coming. When we worship, we are able to enter into the wonder of the wise men and shepherds. We are able to ponder the joy of seeing the fullness of love itself, Jesus Christ, humbled in the form of an infant.
How better to step into the unknown, to chase adventure, and find freedom than by seeking the face of Jesus. How better to express our thankfulness and joy to the Lord than by joining in the chorus of angels proclaiming all glory to God in the highest.
These aren’t new ideas, however, we’ve known this for a very long time. Every year around this time, we gather together and sing Christmas carols. When else do people congregate to willingly share their horrifically off-pitch voices? At our very core, we know we’re made to sing out His praises, yet we’ve lost the intentionality of our song. We sing the words, “Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn King,” a beautiful hymn of praise, with no fervor or feeling. Jesus wants our praise. Jesus demands our praise. Our hearts long to sing to Him.
This Christmas, let’s raise our song anew. Let’s learn to worship. Let’s learn to partner with the joy of the men who had the privilege of first seeing the face of God. As men, worship allows us to partake in the greatest adventure of all time, the pursuit of intimacy with Jesus. If men are going to rise up, if men are going to change the culture, if men are going bring revival to the Holy Catholic Church, we must worship. We must live a lifestyle of worship, prostrated before the manger paying homage to our King.
“Come let us sing with Joy to the Lord, let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.”
~ Psalm 95