Day 10 // Gifts

“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 and of incense and of myrrh.”  Matthew 2:11 (NIV)

Only a scrooge wouldn’t enjoy giving and receiving gifts at Christmas. Sure we can over “commercialize” Christmas and forget its true meaning. On the other hand, we could prohibit gifts all together. Bah-humbug!

As a child I loved getting gifts! I couldn’t wait to tear into the presents on Christmas morning! We would run into our parents’ room and wake them up so we could get started. Now, as a parent, I find greater delight in giving gifts. Don’t misunderstand me; it’s still fun to receive them. But, there is a huge satisfaction when you see the joy on the face of someone when you’ve given them just the right gift!

Part of the adventure of Advent is the exchange of gifts. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son …” That’s what Christmas is all about! God knew exactly what we needed, what alone would satisfy our hearts and fulfill our lives! His gift expressed His love for us all!

In response, we find the wise men in our Advent passage today traveling thousands of miles in search of the Christ child to present Him with their gifts. Notice how giving and worship go together in this verse. “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 … .” First, they worshiped and then they presented Him with gifts. Giving is a way that we declare the worth of others to us. It expresses their value to us. Finding just the right gift that does that isn’t easy, is it? The wise men were very particular in the specific gifts they offered Christ. Each gift specifically matched some characteristic of Jesus and His work.

Gold is the gift for a King. Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Incense is the gift for a priest used in the temple worship and sacrifices. Jesus is our High Priest who represents us before God giving us direct access because of His sacrifice in our behalf!

Myrrh is the gift for one who is to die. It was used to anoint the bodies of the dead and speaks of Christ’s death. Jesus came into the world to die.

Wise men indeed! Even at the cradle of Christ, their gifts foretold that He was to be the true King, the perfect High Priest and in the end the supreme Savior of men!

This weekend is an opportunity for us to give our greatest gift to Christ in our annual OneLife Christmas Offering. Each gift will express His worth and value to us and our love for Him. It will enable the ministry and message of Christ to continue to spread throughout the world through our church. Your gift matters. Prayerfully consider now what He would have you give. Like the wise men, first come into His presence to worship and then to give.

“How grateful we are, O God, for the gift of Your Son! Thank you for coming, Lord Jesus, to be our King, our High Priest and our Savior! May our gifts this Christmas reflect our love for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Take some time to plan what you will give to Christ this Christmas.

How can your gift reflect His value and worth to you?

Why do you think the order is to worship first and then to give?