I have just returned from attending almost 2 1/2 Christmas services this evening since 5 pm to 12:00 pm in two different Churches, my Episcopal Church and the Ecclesia Church. I have never had such an awesome worship of the Lord before. I just can’t enumerate how wonderful the services were. I need to enumerate and capture my joy at experience of God, which I shall do later in another blog entry. Even as I was worshiping I had at least two insights about worship in Christmas. The insights that one gets during worship are awesome because I believe they are inspired by the Spirit of God.
I was at Ecclesia for the 5:00 pm service and as the worship started, I was wondering to myself what this was all about. I was dead tired. I had had just 3:30 hrs of sleep the prior night and I was also a little disappointed with myself that I had to spend Christmas alone, without any family or festivities or Christian friends to spend Christmas with. I had a mild headache as well. I was completely drained and I thought that this was my worst Christmas ever. So, at the start of worship, this question, “What it was all really about?” seemed quite pertinent to me. Then like a flash, I realized that this was ALL about Jesus Christ. It was not about me or about how I felt about my sorry lonely drained predicament. This re-orientation of focus on God who is True, Beautiful and Good gave to me the right Spirit, one which is self-forgetful and God adoring, to really worship God.
The second insight I got happened a little later during worship, I really am not able to remember the context of how a chain of thoughts came about which made me think about Christmas worship. But out of nowhere a thought occurred to me that as I was worshiping God and adoring Jesus Christ, because God was in a timeless world, to Him it would appear that I was along-side the Wise men and the Shepherds worshiping the new born Christ at Bethlehem. That I am 2000 years separated from the event is only a limitation of the reality as I see it. In God’s eyes, my worship is not bound by time and so my worship is happens real-time as Jesus Christ is born. There is not limits to how this thought thrilled me. To realize that my worship of God during Christmas was not just a commemoration of Birth of God, but actually seen by God a real-time worship of Jesus Christ along side the Shepherds and Wise Men, added an entire new dimension to worship. My worship changed from worship commemorative of a past event to real-time worship.
Then I went to my Episcopal Church for the 10:00 pm service. Oh, my gosh!!! It was the best worship ever. The choir’s worship was astounding. I’ll write more on that later. I was sitting there listening to the worship and participating in the worship of God in my Spirit by attributing all the worship by the Choir to God by imagining this Choir to be singing real-time beside the Shepherds and Wise men and I also imagined me standing there real-time alongside the shepherds and wise men, in awe of the most High God being worshiped by the best of human abilities.
As is obvious in my prior blog entries, I have been questioning myself as to why I have been alone during Christmas and why I wasn’t spending Christmas with any of my Christian friends in Houston. But looking back, I realize that I was really able to involve myself in an awesome worship only because my mind was free and was not tied up in thinking about other festivities. I remember other Christmases where there have been some festivities which ‘tied’ my mind to the earthly and I wouldn’t be able to really have the ‘abandonment towards God’ during worship.
This Christmas I have been lonely, but the loneliness helped me get closer to God. Though alone, I was with God like I was never before. Yes, as I said in my prior blog entry, I think it is disappointing that I don’t have friends in Houston, to invite me for Christmas, but God turned that into something good. That I had none to spend Christmas with has become a blessing in disguise, in that I was truly able to spend Christmas with God. I am planning to order some Pizzas and have Christmas lunch with my Hindu and Muslim colleagues who live in my apartments. May God be praised.