What gifts do you anticipate for different celebrations throughout the year? Do you expect especially large gifts at Christmas? Do you desire to give expensive gifts at Christmas? Have you considered the gifts brought to Jesus at His birth?
We generally like to receive gifts. As we get older, we look forward to giving more than receiving. We enjoy seeing out children opening the gifts we give. We are touched deep in our heart when we give to those who are less fortunate and see their gratefulness.
We know the gifts the Magi brought to Jesus at His birth. We have heard the story of how each gift was given for a specific reason, even if those reasons may not be exactly what the Magi were thinking at the time. Despite our suppositions, we don’t know why they brought the gifts they did. We do know each gift is considered to be extravagant.
Gold was as treasured in the days of Jesus’ birth as it is today, if not more so. It was used to purchase items and made into jewelry. It was typically held by those considered to be rich. The poorer people only had silver coins rather than gold.
Frankincense was used in the temple to make a fragrant aroma to the Lord. It was placed on the table with the bread of the presence and with grain offering. It comes from a gummy sap from trees in modern day Yemen and ground into a powder that could be burned.
Myrrh also comes from the gummy sap of plants, such as fennel and anise, that are native to modern day Arabia and Yemen. It was typically used in one of two forms—oil or a hardened resin. The oil was used to anoint bodies to prepare them for burial. The resin was heated to make a fragrant aroma as well.
Though we may not give gifts such as these to one another today, we can give just as extravagantly. Giving of ourselves in service with love is just as precious in God’s eyes. Giving ourselves to His service out the love we have for Him is precious in His sight.
I pray we all give extravagantly to God. I pray we serve Him out of the love we have for Him. I pray each one of us please God by serving one another and Him with the love He has for us. Give extravagantly to God. Love God as He loves you. Serve God with love. Serve one another with love. Be precious in God’s sight.
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, frankincense and myrrh.