Christmas Day is over. Most of us have begun the un-decorating, some of you really focused ones are probably done.
I think you should know that the rest of us find you intimidating.
I’m still trying to remember where I put all my stuff that I had to move to make way for my Christmas décor. Everything looks empty and plain except the floor, which is covered with needles from the tree and garland – which by the way are FAKE. But that’s another story.
As I was trying to locate things to fill the empty spaces, my youngest commented about how sad it was to him when Christmas was over and things went back to the way they were. His words stopped me dead in my tracks. What a heartbreaking thing to think and to say. Please know that I am in no way putting my child down for his words because the truth is I have thought and said the same thing.
This week on the website, we planned to focus on the wise men and I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to say about them until Sam made that comment and I had time to think through it. I found myself grateful that God included the Magi in His amazing story because they remind me that after the boxes are packed and the tree is gone, the Christmas story is still unfolding.
See, even though we tuck them into our manger scenes, the wise men weren’t at the manger that night. They were somewhere far away – in the east, we are told in Matthew. Most scholars believe that because of where they lived, they were more than likely very familiar with Daniel and his prophecy about the coming King of the Jews. They had studied Daniel’s ‘seventy sevens’ and knew that the appearance of the star lined up with coming of the King on the timeline.
From the time they saw the star they began the search. By the time the wise men reached Jesus, He was probably around two years old. So it took them two years, but they were determined to find the child that they knew was a divine ruler sent by the God of the Jews. Though they more than likely did not fully understand who Jesus was, they knew He was like no other king ever born and they wanted to worship Him.
They saw a star, they studied the scriptures, they travel a very long time, and they brought important gifts. Those gifts were God ordained and had specific meaning that maybe we should take notice of because it might just help us understand how to avoid the trap of ‘packing Christmas up’ because we, too, can give the same gifts.
The Magi chose to worship Christ with gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Gold was greatly valued by kings. It was a costly gift expressly given to kings.
Frankincense was expensive, fragrant incense that God commanded Moses to use in worship of Him. It was associated with worship of God.
Myrrh was used for different things, one being burial embalming. It was primarily associated with death.
So I have decided that in light of Jesus giving up heaven, coming to earth to suffer and die for one as unworthy as me, I am not going to pack up Christmas and put it away with the boxes. Instead, my desire is to seek Him out and worship Him by bringing my gifts every day.
Gold becomes giving Him all of my life because that is what is most valued by my King.
Frankincense becomes living a sacrificial life because it is a sweet aroma to my God.
Myrrh becomes a reminder to die to myself daily because “I am crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20
I invite you to join me!
Have a great week,
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Thanks again to Caroline Cromer for allowing us to use her art work during our advent series. If you are interested in purchasing any of her art or would like to see more, visit her Facebook page.
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