Advent #3: “Come Let US adore HIM” (Mt. 2:1-12)
“Come Let US adore HIM” (Mt. 2:1-12)
Advent resonates with the anticipation of Messiah and the wondrous revelation of Jesus – God wrapped up in flesh and on display for all to embrace. But how do we as a community respond to the Word made Flesh? As we look at the Scriptures it’s clear that Adoration (=worship) is the way to go.
Adoration (worship) at it’s heart is simply yielding ourselves / humbling our hearts in hopes of giving to God affirmation, fame and glory. Summed up in the words of John the Baptist, “HE must increase, but I must decrees” (John 3:30). As we look at the lives of Mary (Lk. 1:46-55), Simion (Lk 2:28-32), and the Shepherds (2:20) the common response to God revealing Messiah to them is worship.
So how do we “do” worship? The Magi (Mt 2:1-12) give us a hint: simply “come” (v2). We have to make a move in our hearts (and sometimes our location, $, dreams, relationships, etc) to worship Jesus. And when we get to that place of adoration like the Wise Men we must bring a treasure, a gift, simply… you. Jesus said “..where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt 6:21). Yet, know that in this process of seeking God that God is seeking you – a worshiper who worships in Spirit & Truth (John 4:23-24)
So how do we do this at CityLight? I got an idea of how while walking downtown. Living in an old town you start to rub shoulders with a lot of old things. But at the same time life is busy here, so sometimes these old things simply get pushed out of your consciousness. Yet, one thing I almost always notice is a stone carving of an angle above the church on SNP square. For some reason it always catches my attention. Inscribed beneath the heavenly gaze is inscribed – “Venite adoremus Dominum “ What this meant is Greek to me…well actually it’s Latin… but whatever. It’s a mystery, but one worth figuring out.
Google is my number one tool for solving the deep mysteries of the universe… well, some of them… Anyways, “Venite adoremus Dominum” is a Latin phrase meaning, “come, let us adore the Lord”. I like that. What a perfect motto to have for the gathering of those who love Jesus – “let us adore.” It’s not “let us have fun” or be “entertained” or “self-fulfilled” or another of a dozen unspoken mottos in many of the modern churches. Simply said, the majority of the hip & relevant aims of the church today are simply ones that revolve around one of the most personal & dangerous words in the world – “me”. And for some reason I have the funny feeling that this is simply not the way of Jesus. Yes, we do benefit from being part of the Body, the Bride, the Church….but the direction of our attention and gaze is to be on Jesus.
One surprising occurrence of “Venite adoremus Dominum” was right under my nose all the time…at least one month out of the year. V.A.D. is another title for a song we all know well – “Joy to the World.” Although this song is traditionally a Christmas song (and its hard for me to get beyond that…), I believe it could/should be sung more often. Take a second and hum it in your head. What is it about? A Savior coming and all of Creation breaking out in joyous adoration of Jesus! Isn’t that Good News?! What an anthem to shout out!
Another common use of “Venite adoremus Dominum” is in the English “Book of Common Prayers“. Essentially it is a prayer adapted from Psalms 95…which by the way is all about the theme – “let us adore.” Here is part of a modern translation. You might take a moment and meditate on it. Let it guide you into adoring Him (ps. if you feel funny using a written prayer, simply open your Bible and do it that way):
“Come, let us sing to the Lord;
And shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach Him with praise and thanksgiving
And sing joyful songs to the Lord.
The Lord is God, the mighty God,
the great King above all the Gods.
He holds in His hand, the depths of the Earth,
the highest mountains as well.
He made the sea, it belongs to Him,
the dry land too, for it was formed by His hands.
Come then, let us bow down and worship,
Bending the knee before the Lord; our maker.
For He is our God, and we are His people,
The flock He shepherds.”
May “Venite adoremus Dominum” be carved into our hearts and hang above the doorway of our life.