matterofprayer blog post for Wednesday, December 25, 2013
O, Come Let Us Adore Him
I attended a Christmas Eve service at my church last night (and sang in the choir). Music was a large part of this service. Lessons, carols, anthems, more lessons, hymns, a brief sermon, communion. Traditional music, pipe organ, poinsettia-decorated chancel, candle-lit church, singing “Silent Night” as the final hymn.
Coming from a liturgical church in my childhood, I appreciate this kind of service. However, this is further complicated by my undergraduate degree in church music. (Even though it’s been over two decades since I received my bachelor’s degree.) When I look at many kinds of church services and listen to a wide variety of styles of church music, I find I am still more analytical than worshipful.
Part of me wants to say “O, Come Let Us Analyze Our Worship,” instead of beholding Him, “born the King of angels.” I want to break down the service into its component building blocks, instead of greeting the Lord, “born this happy morning.”
I enjoy corporate worship. I always have. I have been involved in a continuing dialogue with God about worship for quite a number of years, now. My understanding and appreciation of the setting and intention of the service writers and liturgical team has evolved. I honestly can say that I am now able to worship—sometimes—when I am present in a service.
The second-to-last hymn in last night’s service was, indeed, “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” While touched during separate readings and musical presentations during the course of the evening, I finally received the blow to the heart during this hymn. I choked up, unable to sing any further. “Word of the Father, Now in flesh appearing.” In a stark, meaningful way, it came home to me that the Word—God’s Word, the Logos—was made flesh in Bethlehem. And I saw His glory, full of grace and truth. Yes, I choked up. I praised God, too.
Truly, “O, come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”