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PG_Adoration_edit

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We're thinking today about this word ‘adore’. At the heart of Christianity is worship, is adoration, in fact at the heart of humanity is adoration. Go to a football match, watch the final of some celebrity show: We are wired to worship. And at the heart of the Christian story we see worship. Luke 2: Verses 14 to 18. The angels have just appeared to the Shepherds and proclaimed the Good News that Jesus is born. “Glory to God in the highest” they say “and on the earth peace to men on whom his favour rests” And when the angels had left the shepherds and gone into heaven, the shepherd said to one another “let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.“ And so they hurried off and they found Mary and Joseph and the baby who was lying in the manger and when they had seen him they spread the word concerning what have been told them about this child and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. We've got two great explosions in this story. There is an explosion of adoration. Angels in Heaven. The shepherds kneeling by the manger. But also, an explosion of proclamation. The angels proclaiming Jesus is born. The shepherds going out and spreading the word through the region And in a way, that is the heart of this season, it is the heart of Pentecost. It's the heart of Thy Kingdom Come. This idea that we are gathered up to see Jesus and to worship Him. And then from adoration we are propelled out, to proclaim the Good News that he is alive. Isn't it just beautiful by the way? That the very first worshippers, the very first witnesses of Thy Kingdom Come in Christ, are shepherds just dirty, low life men on a night shift. Not educated. Not sophisticated. They are not the priests. They are not royalty. They’re just, kind of working men. That tells you everything you need to know about God's invitation to worship You know you cannot be too bad, too messy, too broken, too boring, to be a worshipper and a witness to Jesus. You know, my Mum is just the most wonderful mum in the world and she is now, I’m sure she won’t mind me telling you, in her 70’s. And she’s at that stage of life where she's kind of got enough stuff. So birthdays and Christmases can be a bit tricky knowing what to give her. And what I’ve found is she doesn't really want more things, what she wants is my time, my love, my affirmation, acts of service; just fixing stuff for her. Those are the things that are really meaningful. How much more, when we talk about God, who by definition kind of has everything, all the stuff He could possibly need, do we realise that what He longs for from us is our time, our love, our presence, our affirmation, our acts of service. The things that we might wrap up in this word adoration that is at the heart of the Christian invitation. One of the great Saints of adoration is Francis of Assisi. In the 13th century, he changed the world. But right at the start, before anybody knew is he mad, is it bad, is this the real deal, when he was giving all this stuff away and preaching the Good News to the poor, a landlord called Bernard of Quintavalle, a very wealthy man, invited Francis to his castle one night for dinner. And after dinner they all went to their bedrooms, went to sleep and everything fell still and quiet and dark in the castle. Bernard of Quintavalle spied on Francis to see what he would do when he was alone in his room and what he saw was this, the moment everything was quiet and dark in the castle, Francis jumped out of bed, knelt down and began to say over and over again “My God and my awe, My God and my awe, My God and my awe.” Bernard of Quintavalle was so impressed that he gave away his own possessions, his own wealth, his own castle and became the very first Franciscan. That was the year 1205, by the year 1217 there were more than 5000 Franciscans and a revolution had truly begone that changed the course of history. But at the heart of it all, was this cry “ My God and my awe”. When Jesus was born there was an explosion of worship. Glory to God in the highest and peace to men and women of goodwill on earth. We dream of social transformation. We dream of the re-evangelization of the nation. We dream of reconciliation in relationships. We long for people to be healed. We long for friends to come to know Jesus. But the heart of all these prayers is adoration, not programs, products, good initiatives, excel spreadsheets, but worship and from adoration we are propelled out in proclamation of the Good News that the kingdom has already come.

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Duration: 5 minutes and 49 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 8
Posted by: annafjmorris on Apr 26, 2018

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