Now about another parent
and child. Mary is this teenaged girl. She has met an angel who told
her she’s going to give birth to the Messiah, conceived by nothing less than
the Holy Spirit of God in her womb. She sings a powerful worship song about the
greatness of God, the Mighty One who has done and will do great things.
finally gives birth to this Anointed One of God, with the sky ripping open in front of some shepherds and
angels singing and the shepherds coming and seeing this little Holy Family
and then running off to tell the good news of this newborn King.
And what is Mary’s
reaction to all this? But Mary treasured
up all these things and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19). The scene could easily have ended with the shepherds going off to tell everyone what happened. But Luke chooses to come back one more time for a close-up on Mary treasuring up this holy moment.
Time passes. Mary raises this
Messiah, Jesus. Do you think she ever stops encountering God, ever gives up
singing her worship songs? Or do you think maybe she watches this child of hers
grow and is constantly amazed to watch God work in and through him? She likely
even teaches and models for Jesus what it is to live a life of worship. Maybe he notices her periodically stopping and taking something in, treasuring up God’s greatness and pondering God’s mighty works in her heart. She teaches him that every moment is sacred, every step part of a holy journey. He should treasure
up the wonderful things he sees God doing and ponder them in his heart. This is
what it is to live a life of devotion, a life in the company of the invisible God.
Then Jesus steps out and begins his
public ministry, working miracles and teaching and preaching about God’s
kingdom. And what is one of the first and primary things he teaches? Do not
store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and
where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in
and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).
How is your worship life? What do
you treasure? They are so connected as to be basically one and the same. We all have our preferences for style of music and wanting a worship service to
be interesting and memorable. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But
if you can’t worship no matter what, can't thrill at the treasures of God no matter how they're presented, then your treasure may be in the wrong
place…and so your heart may be in the wrong place.
True worship is the result of
treasuring up God throughout our week and throughout our lives. True worship is
the result of pondering God in our hearts and expressing how much we value the
Lord. It’s actually the very definition: “worship” comes from worthscipe, God's “worth-ship" and worthiness of praise and honor and glory.
My heart breaks for a generation that has
not been taught this as Mary taught her son Jesus, for a generation that has
been taught “if you’re not getting anything out of worship, go somewhere else
or just stay home.” It never dawns on such a one that the problem is that their
heart is an empty treasure chest.
If your life could be opened as a treasure chest,
what would be inside?
So how about your treasure chest…
If your life could be opened as a treasure chest, what would be found inside? What is
it you treasure and seek after? Where is your heart? Do you ever watch
for God and even join God in what he is doing all around you? Do you ever pause
for a moment to treasure up something and ponder it in your heart?
the moths destroyed some worship high you once had that you keep chasing? Have
the thieves of worldliness come in and stolen your joy over worldly treasure, so that
there just never seems to be enough? If there are children in your life, what
are you teaching them to treasure…what are you teaching them to worship?
Now is the moment to begin filling
your treasure chest with the things of God. There are many treasures all around you every day—moments that, millions of
years from now, will still glisten like precious gems. This is treasure. This is life.