Advent worship team devotional. Part 3 – An unsafe God
This worship team devotional is part of a four-week series that takes excerpts from The Taming of Christmas written by Jon Nicol. Each devotional contains a brief scripture reading and discussion questions and is designed for use during the Advent season.
The Messiness of Christmas, Part 3: An unsafe God
We sing about a lot of different characters at Christmas. But have you noticed we don’t sing sentimental songs of the jealous king who tried to connive the wise men into leading him to the young usurper? He would have no competition. He would have no rival. He alone was great–Herod the Great. And to insure this, he ordered the execution of those guilty of being a boy under the age of two. He slaughtered toddlers to protect his throne.
Nope. No carols are sung of him. This part of the story doesn’t make it into our songs or our annual recitation of the birth of Jesus. That would take away from the quiet and the sentiment that we like so much at Christmas.
And that’s what we want from our Baby Jesus. One that is cute. One that is sentimental. One that we can control, or at least forget about in our daily routine. Why do we want this image? Because we want a safe God. We want a God who isn’t riddled with paradox. We want a God that we can figure out. We want a God who is neat, clean, and safe.
But God is not safe. And He cannot be figured out by formulas or unriddled by reason. Nor can His visible image, Jesus Christ.
Discuss: “We want a God who is neat, clean and safe.” In what ways does Christianity today reflect that statement? Do we see some of that in our own church?
In what ways do we try to “control” God?
What are some ways we can focus on the mystery and wildness of God in our corporate worship?
Jon Nicol is a worship pastor in Ohio and has developed a site for worship leaders, teams and musicians called WorshipTeamCoach.com. Jon’s ebook, The Taming of Christmas, is available as a single-copy or as church-licensed copy, which allows you to distribute copies to your local church.