Do we give ourselves permission to adore Christ?
We’ve recently been showing our kids pictures of when they were babies. Each time they make a noise that arises instinctively. It sounds something like, “Awwwwww.” The funniest part is when one of our kids looks at a picture of themself and responds as if they were looking at a stranger’s photo. The kids are now persistently asking to see the pictures. It’s like they have an impulse (or even an addiction) to adore.
I know not everyone classifies themselves as a “baby person.” Admittedly, I’m not sure we would have said that we were prior to having little ones of our own. Many are aware that we endured a season of miscarriages prior to the healthy pregnancy and birth of Ella. When she arrived, November 1, 2013, we genuinely adored her. The un-staged photos of those first few days reveal how much we simply enjoyed looking at her and being in her presence.
As each of our kids came along, we noticed that the adoration of a new arrival seemed to expand. Our family photos always include some version of all of us looking lovingly upon the newest addition. The impulse to adore is a shared experience.
Synonyms for adoration include: admire, cherish, delight in, revere, dote, and worship. That’s exactly what we did with each baby who came into our lives.
Our culture elevates youth (sometimes to an unhealthy degree). We can idolize the young and even ascribe too much worship to a baby. But overall, I [Charlie] think we’ve lost touch with what it means to truly practice adoration. The instinctual response we have to a new baby may be one of the few honest expressions of reverence and worship we still allow ourselves to embrace.
Christmas always includes some version of the hymn, “O Come Let Us Adore Him.” We’ve already sung multiple renditions at various churches this December. The song carries the experience of the first Christmas into our contemporary context. The wise men adored Jesus. The shepherds adored Jesus. Mary and Joseph adored Jesus. The angels adored Jesus. There was a cosmic, “Awwwwwwww,” as the Christ lay swaddled in his humble birthplace.
Adoration is the appropriate response to the Incarnation. O, come let us adore Him. For He alone is worthy. We give Him all the glory. Christ the Lord. Allow the instinct of adoration to infiltrate your worship. Join the eternal chorus with whole-hearted permission to delight in our Baby King.