Micah 6:6-8 – With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (NIV)
Where or when does Jesus come in our holiday festivities? We invest a lot of creative energy in getting the right presents for the individuals we buy or make gifts for, and that is good. If we stop to think about this for a moment we will realize that there is a scriptural precedent for such planning — the "wise men"!
We know they were wise to follow the guidance of a lonely star to find the long looked-for Messiah. But they were also wise because they gave great care to the gifts that accompanied their acts of worship, gifts appropriate for the occasion.
Gold – a gift for a king. Jesus would one day reign, not by force, but by love; not from a throne, but from a cross.
Frankincense – a gift for a priest. Jesus was to become our perfect priest who would open our way to God. He became the bridge whereby we could cross and find our way to our Heavenly Father.
Myrrh – a gift for the dead. Did the wise men know from the scriptures that Jesus was to be God's Lamb, led to the slaughter, bearing our iniquities?
God can also teach us how to bring the right gift to the Saviour. It is not so much a material offering that is required, but a sacrifice of the heart and spirit. Let us kneel at the manger with the very best present that we ourselves can bring to offer our Saviour.
Prayer: Lord God, open our hearts afresh today to the truth of your word and the gift you desire most from us: ourselves. In Christ's name. Amen.