I’m going to say something that’s going to get me in trouble.
Don’t stress out, it’s not total heresy or anything, I don’t think. We can still be friends. Maybe you’ll even decide that you agree with me.
It’s just that sometimes it feels safer to worship Jesus than to adore him.
See? Not total blasphemy or anything, but still might make you raise your eyebrow at me. It’s okay, I’m getting used to that reaction. Let me tell you what I’m thinking.
Sometimes — many times — it feels tenable to go through the required acts of contrition and penitence, offer the correct sacrifices, do the right acts of goodwill, all to a far-away God, because those are external acts that I perform rather than allowing anything uncontrollable happen to my heart. It’s brain work — performance enhancing brain work.
That’s not all up in my business the same way as the baby Jesus come to earth. Baby Jesus is closer. Baby Jesus is so soft, smells sweet like a baby should, and melts your hard heart when you hold him snuggled in your arms. It’s difficult to keep Baby Jesus at arm’s length.
Then there’s snaggle-toothed Jesus, who still has mostly baby teeth, and who’s front teeth are growing in way too big for his head and at a slightly alarming angle you just hope will straighten out once he looses the other teeth. He’s got such a tenderness to him, even as he’s trying to learn how to do things on his own and sometimes gets frustrated.
And teen-age Jesus — well, don’t even get me started. It tenderizes my heart, the way his body is outgrowing his maturity and he keeps knocking things over because he’s not used to being so big.
Come further up, come further in! ~C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
To adore Jesus is to be invited to know him as you’d know another living person, not only some carved statue of him, to come further up and further in to interacting with him. To adore Jesus is to allow your gaze to land on him and remain there, taking in who he is, what makes him special. It’s to appreciate his acts of kindness, selflessness, gentleness, his wisdom and inclusion, his perfect humanness that makes us aspire to be the best versions of ourselves. It’s gushy love stuff, the stuff like when mom and dad share a smooch, and it sends kids running from the room, then makes them peek back around the corner.
It’s not that worship and adoration have to be mutually exclusive. And I’m using “worship” in a specific sense, which isn’t always the most accurate interpretation of the word. That aside, adoring Jesus brings him closer to us, doesn’t allow us to keep him at some high and lofty distance. And depending on your perspective, that can be either exhilarating or intimidating.
Today’s post is a linkup with Kate Motaung and Five Minute Friday. It’s fun to see what other people come up with in five minutes using the given word prompt. If you’re here for the first time, thank you for coming by! I hope you’ll consider checking in again to see what’s cookin’.
Question for you: Do you think about “oh come let us adore him” at any other time of the year other than Christmas? What do you think about adoration and worship and their relationship?