A big part of the Christmas season and tradition includes Christmas music. Aesthetic experience is a powerful modality with which to commune with the Spirit. Music and lyrics provide both emotional connection and spiritual truths. Through aesthetic experience, we can have a more direct worshipful experience in awe and adoration of the birth of our Lord. John Francis Wade’s “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and Kari Jobe’s “Revelation Song” are two examples of music directly connecting to the experiences of adoration and awe of God.
The words adoration and awe describe the response to being in the presence of God. We know that God is the One who freely gives us unending and unfathomable love. As we try to feel adoration for Him and experience awe of Him, we find that it is not automatic. Adoration and awe are not responses we can easily turn on or off. These experiences need to be cultivated and nurtured over time. The level of adoration and awe we feel parallels the depth of our understanding of who God is and how He loves us. They are the responses of our soul’s communion with God.
Deepening our knowledge and understanding of God comes from the maturing of our heart, which includes our emotions. Maturing our emotions comes from persevering over time through trials and suffering, leading us to a deeper communion with Him. The heart grows deeper through life lived surrendered to the Spirit. Communion is the prize achieved through ongoing spiritual growth.
Alternatively, knowledge of God’s Word gives truth, revealing the nature of God’s relationship with us. We understand He created time in order for us to grow to Him and be redeemed. We know He sacrificed His Son for us. We are taught the depth and breadth of His love for us. Knowledge elevates our understanding of who God is, also bringing us to closer communion with Him.
Both intellectual understanding and emotional connection are needed to appreciate more of who God is. This appreciation requires thoughtful and emotional vision to see His expansive agency. We learn and glimpse part of His unending capacity to love. As we draw closer to Him we become more aware that God is bigger than what our thoughts or our emotions can capture. We see Him incompletely through our minds and hearts, through our thoughts and feelings. We see Him by His light, to know Him more fully, to more deeply feel His love. This is love too big, undefinable and unthinkable. He is too big for us to fully comprehend.
As we know Him more fully, as we feel His love more deeply, we can then respond in awe with adoration, to glorify Him.
Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to people who enjoy his favor!
Luke 2:14 (ISV)