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Worship in Spirit and Truth

“ In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”

Hebrews 1:1-3a

As much as the preborn Christ developed incrementally over His nine months in Mary’s womb, outside the womb the understanding that this Child was worthy of worship was slowing developing in the humans involved in His birth. At Gabriel’s announcement of her pregnancy, Mary declared herself a servant (Luke 1:38); Elizabeth’s preborn John leaped in praise when he encountered the Holy Spirit present with the preborn Christ (Luke 1:41); the shepherds in the fields were driven to worship the newborn Christ by the glory of the angelic display in the night sky (Luke 2:8-20); Anna and Simeon rejoiced when Jesus was presented in the Temple (Luke 2:25-38); and the Magi responded to the leading of the Natal star to come and worship (Matthew 2:1-12).

Surely the Child from the hand of God who removes the curse from the earth, looses the captives, heals the sick and forgives the sins of fallen humanity deserves both praise and thanksgiving from those of us who must live, move and suffer in a culture of death made by human hands. That the God who made the universe would choose to enter into our human limitations, suffering in order to raise us up with Him, should compel us to fall on our faces in humility that such a King should find us worthy of His own humble sacrifice.

How dare anyone suggest that the preborn Christ lacked sentience or was less than fully human or less than fully God – or, in the opposite extreme, that the preborn Christ possessed some “special kind of humanity” while in the womb? Our Savior took on the frail limitations of ordinary unborn human beings – and the inescapable conclusion is that all unborn humans share all the human characteristics of the preborn Christ. Two millennia later, that understanding

continues to dawn incrementally on the rolling generations of developing humanity.

“But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him.”

John 4:23

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