Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "While Shepherds Watched"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 2:11 – 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. (NIV)
My granddaughters each received a Christmas colouring and activity book from our church congregation. The girls were both delighted.
One day as Ade, the elder, was working on a page, she asked me to read the caption beneath. It was today's verse. We discussed the gifts of gold and incense and myrrh, and then, I asked her this question: "If you were there to see the Baby Jesus in the manger, what gift do you think you would give to Him?"
She looked at the picture in the activity book and thought about it for a minute or so and then piped up: "I would give him a Binky®" — a soother or pacifier. I was quite delighted and amazed at her answer. She had displayed real thought regarding the gift that she would give and how appropriate that it would be for a newborn babe. Her Binky® had also been one of her greatest treasures as an infant and toddler, which may have been what prompted her to consider this to be a very precious gift for Jesus.
As I pondered her response, I also considered how a Binky® measured up in comparison to gold and incense and myrrh. I wondered how many might laugh at this child's offering to Jesus, which wouldn't really seem like much at all.
It also caused me to think about how many of us feel that the gifts that we have to offer Jesus, as our Lord and Saviour, are not very much either, in comparison to what we may think or feel others have to give. Most of us are not wealthy or super talented or immensely gifted. Most of us are just simple, everyday people, helping out where we can, and thus, we often step back when it comes to using our gifts, instead of thoughtfully and courageously offering our Lord the gifts and talents that we have been given, small though they may seem to us.
But if we stop and think about it, which of the four gifts would the Baby Jesus have appreciated the most: gold, incense, myrrh, or a Binky®? That's a good reminder of how sometimes the smallest things are treasured the most and make the biggest difference in the lives of others.
Likewise, when we give our Lord what we have, ourselves, the gifts and talents that we have been blessed with, no matter how small they may seem, He loves and appreciates and uses and multiplies them in ways that we may never ever know about, until we see Him face to face and He says, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
Prayer: Father God, may we take time to consider the gifts and talents with which You have blessed us, those things that make us who we are as individuals. As we do so, may we also take the time to present them as an offering back to You in prayer, to be used according to Your good will and purpose, knowing that as we do, we can also trust You to guide us in the best ways to use them for Your kingdom. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.