(For those who are impatient, the last sentence tells you why.)
Each morning I bring my 17 month old baby downstairs, and she points at the Christmas tree. With an urgency that isn’t necessary, she repeats, “YIGHTS! YIGHTS!” She looks at me expectantly. If I don’t move toward the tree fast enough, she toddles over to the outlet and tries to plug the tree in herself. My favorite part of Christmas 2010 so far is watching her little face the instant the tree lights up. Her joyful brown eyes fill with glee. Her little mouth forms a circle as she exhales, “Oooooo…” just above a whisper. Then a smile consumes her face and a squeal of delight fills our home.
I imagine we will have a similar reaction the moment we enter Heaven and see Christ for the first time.
We watched A Charlie Brown Christmas last night as a family. Linus’ monologue on the meaning of Christmas always puts me in the right frame of mind. As I listened to him for the one thousandth time last night, one part stuck out to me. After the angel told the shepherds where to find Jesus, the Gospel of Luke says, “Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'”
Can you imagine the awe with which the shepherds watched these angels? Maybe they froze and stared. Maybe they wept. Maybe they were scared. Maybe they joined the angels, and praised the Lord. Whatever their response was, whether literally or metaphorically, surely their circular mouths exhaled awe.
That’s a great story. But what does it have to do with me today?
We are not in Heaven yet. We can’t hear angels praising God. We don’t see Jesus. We are quick to forget about the supernatural realm. So how can we operate out of the same kind of awe the shepherds experienced?
After the shepherds found Jesus and reported what the angel had said concerning Him, the Bible says, “The shepherds returned (home to their fields?), glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen.”
I think the key to living our lives with the proper sense of awe toward the Lord is to glorify and praise God for all the things we HAVE heard and seen. In other words, remember. Recount often how the Lord has worked in your life. Tell your children (Ps. 78:4-7). Tell a stranger (Is. 63:7). Share your testimony. Recall daily how the Lord has blessed you, and why He is worthy of your praise (Ps. 126:3).
Hebrews 12 says, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” Being thankful is what causes us to be able to worship God with reverence and awe.
What are you thankful for? Tell someone. And let that thankfulness blossom into worship of the One who is worthy.