Art or Worship
Christmas pageants around the
world end with the wise men worshipping Jesus and giving Him gifts of gold,
frankincense and myrrh.
God intended for the focus of Christmas to be upon the One born that first Christmas. The angels, Mary, Joseph,
shepherds, etc., are the trappings of that first Christmas intended by God to be merely directional signs - signs that did not draw attention to themselves, but pointed the way so the world would know Jesus, the Savior, was born.
The trappings of present-day Christmas activities are dangerous. They ought not draw attention to themselves, but should serve as directional signs to the One whose birthday we are celebrating.
We must be wary of anything that causes us to lose our perspective regarding our responsibility to worship the Lord. The wise men could have brought their gifts and never worshipped. Matthew's gospel tells us they first worshipped and then gave gifts. Our service and our ministry for the Lord must follow worship, not precede or replace worship. God never intended for our service or our ministry to replace Jesus as an object of worship. Beware of the temptation to replace worship with a service ministry.
In our worship, we must be careful not to focus upon the state of the art, but the state of the heart. The trappings of worship -sanctuary, music, etc. - are like the trappings of Christmas. They are intended to be directional signs pointing the way to Jesus. God's purpose for worship never included an improper focus upon the state of the art trappings of worship. He is concerned with the state of our heart.
Once we learn to focus upon Jesus, our natural normal response will be worship. From our worship will flow a service ministry. Are we focusing upon the trappings or worshipping the Lord? Are we more concerned with the state of the art or the state of the heart when we worship?