Christmas Devotions: Gifts

When the wise men saw the star they shouted joyfully. As they came into the house and saw the child with Mary his mother, they bowed down and worshiped him. They opened their treasure boxes and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
~The Apostle Matthew 2:10-11

The wise men brought Jesus gifts which were filled with meaning. They brought gold, a gift fit for a king. The gold was also very useful for the family as they fled to Egypt to save Jesus’ life. We may not have gold but we can make Christ the king of our lives!

The wise men also gave a perfume called frankincense to Jesus. Frankincense was used by priests to worship God in the temple. This gift points to the fact that Jesus would be our priest, the one who would stand in the gap between the Holy God and sinful humanity. Frankincense points to our redemption, our salvation.

The third gift was myrrh. Myrrh was used to prepare a body for burial. It seems like an odd gift for a child but in light of the mission of Christ this gift makes perfect sense. The way our redemption was purchased is through the atoning death of Jesus. He took our sin and shame and died because of it. Then three days later he defeated the consequence of our sin, he rose from the grave. The resurrection narrative tells us that Mary and some other women tried to anoint the body of Jesus with myrrh on the third day after his crucifixion. The expensive myrrh that they were going to use was most likely the same myrrh that the wise men gave to Jesus.

The beauty of this last gift was that it was never used. Jesus died to purchase us life but before the myrrh could be used he rose to give us hope!

Our prayer for you this Christmas is that you join the family of God, that you live because of Christ’s work on the cross and that you live in the hope of his resurrection. If we follow him in life and in death we will follow him in his resurrection as well!

Silent Night, Holy Night

Silent night! Holy night!
All is calm, all is bright
’round yon virgin mother and child!
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
sleep in heavenly peace,
sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night! Holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar,
heav’nly hosts sing: “Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born!”

Silent night! Holy night!
Son of God, love’s pure light
radiant beams from Thy holy face
with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth!
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth!

Silent night! Holy night!
Wondrous star, lend thy light;
with the angels let us sing
“Alleluia” to our King:
“Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born.”

Merry Christmas,AE4CC7DA-43B8-4EB7-BAB4-3FE9CA162129 The Downings

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