The Object of Worship
The crowd of followers stood on the grassy knoll, silenced by their own awe as they watched him approach. They had been following him for hours—some even days—taking it all in. As he climbed the hill, the only sounds were the melodies of a few song birds and the rustle of wind-blown grass. He surveyed the surroundings as his admirers wondered, What would he do next? Would he amaze them again? Would their hopes be fulfilled? The silence deepened as the leader worked. Head bowed, he drew back his hands, then moved them across his body in one fluid motion.
The crowd stirred. A few small utterances soon crescendoed into a chorus of praise as the onlookers raised their hands in glorious celebration, an act of worship for an amazing feat.
Tiger Woods had just won the 1997 Masters Golf Championship. And in that moment, his fans proved a point about humanity: we were all born to worship.
We worship athletes pretty easily. Every week, tens of thousands of us gather together in arenas and living rooms all over the world to watch sports icons in action. A deep pass, a soaring three-pointer, or a walk-off home run can send otherwise sedate spectators to their feet with hands waving and voices rising. These modern-day worship sessions are not that different from those of our ancestors. History records worshipful responses to kings, queens, presidents, athletes, and other notable figures around the globe. Yet, we share a commonality with each of our objects of worship: we are all simply humans. Fallible, finite humans.
Then there is Jesus. Unlike many current heroes, Jesus entered the scene without fanfare. While today’s notable stars seek the crowns of their courts, Jesus—the King of kings—shed His crown and all of its privileges (Philippians 2:7). While only a chosen few have access to our modern-day celebrities, the Son of God came to earth to be with us all! Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23)! And while the actions of today’s notable people raise them to a level above all others, Scripture tells us that Jesus took the form of a servant, humbling Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8).
And why? So that we, who did nothing to deserve it, could be called sons and daughters of God (John 1:12). So that we could be adopted into His Kingdom (Ephesians 1:5). So that we could live with Him forever, through His Spirit here on earth and in His Presence for all eternity (John 14:26)—living in a home He has already prepared for us (John 14:2). Because He is the glorious God of grace, and we—by His choice and because of His love—are the recipients of His unmerited favor (John 3:16).
Friend, may we pause to consider this gift of God? May we stop to ponder this Savior who not only is bigger than life, but is Life Himself? May we weigh the power of His acts and then ask ourselves some straightforward questions: What causes us to break out in jubilation over a 30-foot putt that really bears no consequence to our lives? Moreover, what causes us to sit on our hands when confronted with a Savior who not only supplies our very breath daily, but also secures our eternal destiny?
Don’t get me wrong. I like to cheer at the amazing feats of my fellow man as much as the next person. When I consider, however, what Jesus did some 2000 years ago, and its implications for me today and forever, I want to do some hand-raising! Won’t you join me?
Light of the world, You stepped down into darkness.
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You,
Hope of a life spent with You.
So, here I am to worship;
Here I am to bow down;
Here I am to say that You’re my God.
You’re altogether lovely,
Altogether wonderful to me.
King of all days, oh, so highly exalted,
Glorious in heaven above.
Humbly You came
To the earth You created,
All for love’s sake, became poor.
Here I Am to Worship © Tim Hughes 2001