December 26, 2016

Christmas Gifts From Wise Men by Marnie Pohlmann

I opened gifts yesterday. Did you?
And I gave gifts, too. Did you give gifts?
I enjoyed time with my eternal family at a Christmas Eve candlelight service, and at a Christmas Day worship service. I prepared and shared a meal with my loved ones. Did your preparation for Christmas make the day as special as you hoped?

And today is Boxing Day. All we have prepared for is done. Are you hanging on to yesterday, still treasuring this celebration before daily life begins again?

The good news is, Christmas continues!
Scripture reveals the story is not finished. The birth of Jesus, which we celebrate on Christmas day, is recorded in the Bible, where we can read “the rest of the story.”

One part of the Christmas story that happens after the birth of the baby-king is written in Matthew, Chapter 2, which gives account of wise men who traveled to present gifts to the prophesied Messiah. There is not a lot of information about the Magi, or the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh that they brought, but traditions offer some thoughts.

The Magi
             were wise men,
             astrologers, prophets, and/or dream interpreters.
             Seekers of the King.

Gold
             was a gift of riches,
             a symbol of earthly kingship.
             Jesus as King.

Frankincense
             was a perfume,
             a symbol of deity.
             Jesus as God, Messiah.

Myrrh
             was an anointing oil,
             a symbol of death.
             Jesus as mortal man.

We hear a lot about what Christmas means in the world today. The birth of a Saviour, God with us, is often not considered, is not popular, is forgotten, or is completely unknown.
Dare I say…
Christmas is not about family coming together for meals.
Christmas is not about gift giving to loved ones, to those less fortunate than you, or to strangers.
Christmas is not about fighting winter’s dark with festive lights and parties.
(Gasp!)

And yet…

And yet, that is exactly what Christmas is about.

Today, so many years after the birth of Jesus and the visit of the Magi, we too can present gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus.

             Gold
             gifts and charity,
             given to the world God loves.
             God become man, through us.

             Frankincense
             sweet scent,
             gathered together as family.
             God’s people, praising Him.

             Myrrh
             anointing oil of death,
             light of Hope in dark places.
             God’s life, forever.

We can be like the wise men.

We can discover Truth and learn of God by studying His Word. The Magi studied ancient writings to discover what the star that appeared meant.
Are you searching Scripture to learn about the King?

We can be seekers, leaving the comforts of home, family, and career to follow where God leads. Abraham did so. The disciples did so. The wise men did so.
Will you go where God leads?

We can offer our gifts to God, even when God doesn’t look or act the way we think He does or He should. The wise men meant their gifts for royalty. They were looking for a king, yet when the learned explorers found a baby in a lowly manger rather than a king in a palace, they still presented their gifts and worshiped Him.
When the God you meet is not who you expect or want, will you still worship Him?

If your Christmas celebration did not include time for Jesus, remember that the story is not over. The greatest gift has been given, yet there is still time to search for, follow, and worship the Messiah.

Open your heart and life to the present (gift) of God’s present (right now) presence (with you) and in response, you can give to Him gold, frankincense, and myrrh.


Marnie writes from Taylor, BC. Check out her blog, Phosphorescent, at marniewriter.com

3 comments:

  1. You have a way with words my friend... thank you for this lovely reflection and have a very blessed season and new year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If you need to write an argument essay, you need to check this blog.

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  3. Thanks, Marnie, for your thought-provoking discussion of what the gifts of the magi mean for each of us in today's world. For you and your family, Marnie, I pray that for Christmas and in the New Year,

    "May God be gracious to (you) and bless (you)
    and make his face shine on (you)
    so that (God's) ways may be known on earth,
    (His) salvation among all nations." (Psalm 67: 1-2)

    ReplyDelete

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