thinking out loud

…things that are on my mind, heart, and soul

The Advent Conspiracy: Worship Fully


Our faith community is once again pushing into the Advent Conspiracy. We are asking ourselves this question: what if Christmas became a world-changing event again? The story of Christ’s birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love. So, what happened along the way? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists. And when it’s all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose.

What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?

The Advent Conspiracy invites us to:

  • Worship Fully
  • Spend Less
  • Give More
  • Love All

Yesterday I shared with our community some reflections on the “Worship Fully” theme, drawing upon the story of the Magi and King Herod found in Matthew 2. I called it “The Tale of Two Kings” and reminding us all that “they were the best of kings and the worst of kings.” A focal part of my message centered around Matthew 2:11 – “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” In the spirit of “worship fully” I asked the question, “what is in your treasure bag and will you bring it to the feet of the new born King?”

If you know me at all, you know that one of my personal passions is worship and I have devoted a significant portion of my life to helping people expand their understanding and practice of worship. Last year I coined this definition: Worship is offering our lives back to God for the life of the world. Paul’s words in Romans 12 helped shape this understanding: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. (Romans 12:1-2, The Message).

I have been reading an excellent book the past week, the latest from Margaret Feinberg, The Sacred Echo and it certainly informed my message yesterday. She has a great chapter entitled, “If You Don’t Wear Your Crown (I will Give It to Someone Else)” and I included these words:

“If you don’t wear this crown I will give it to someone else. The words churned in my soul. Though I first interpreted the statement s an ultimatum, I eventually came to understand it as an invitation. In a poignant way, God was saying, “I want to be glorified in you and through you. I made you for this. But if you will not allow me to be glorified in you, I will find someone else.” I have to admit I withheld my decision, choosing instead to continue wrestling with God and myself. Is God really still looking for men and women (and boys and girls) who will fully yield themselves to him? And when he finds them, what can God do in and through them to glorify Himself?”

How does God want to be glorified in you, with you, and through you? Your bag of treasure is your very life – not just your life for an hour or so on Sunday morning, but your everyday, ordinary life.

Yesterday morning, our plan was to conclude our gathering by praying together the following words crafted by Dianne, a member of our community. In a moment of lostness, I completely blew it. So today, as you consider what it means to worship fully, I invite you to pray them and live them.

Child of promise,
We joyfully anticipate your coming.
Immanuel, God with us,
We celebrate your arrival.
Our Savior and our God,
We rejoice in your enduring presence.

As we enter into
This season of waiting,
With humble hearts
We worship you.
For all you are,
For all you’ve done,
For all you continue to do,
Your work in our lives,
Your work in this world

We worship you with all we are,
In all we say and do.
With all our hearts, with all our minds,
With all our souls, with all our strength.
We wait,
And while we wait,
We worship You.

(shared by Dianne Polome)

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One Response

  1. Margaret Feinberg says:

    So glad you enjoyed the book!

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have the peace that passes understanding at the heart of yourself, but do not be at peace with the world. for the world is more malleable than we think and we must wrestle it from fools. (bono)
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