"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. Matthew 2:10-11 (NIV)
The first Sunday of Advent. I just love Advent. The preparation of Jesus' coming to this earth gets more exciting with each passing year. As I gently put up the nativity scene, as I carefully set the Advent candles, I reflect on our Jesus and all those who so wonderfully participated in His birth. Certainly we have Mary and Joseph, we have the Innkeeper and Herod, we have the Shepherds as well. This year, my plan is to focus on the kings of Jesus' birth, and the gifts that they shared.
There are many different renditions of how the kings (or wise men) learned of Jesus' birth. Any recount shares that these were very wise and knowledgeable men - who studied the stars and the Bible (especially the book of Numbers). I read that there may have even been more than three kings, but we definitely know of at least three, and we know their names.
It is believed that Melchior was the king that brought gold. When we look at the gifts that were brought to the baby, gold seems like a strange gift. Yet, it may not be the gift itself, but what it represents that has the greatest meaning. In Jesus' time, gold was a gift fit for a king. Although Jesus was young, the kings - Melchior - knew that Jesus was the king that was prophesied. Gold was a fitting gift for Jesus, Jesus the king.
There is not a lot of detail of these men in the Bible, but it does say that they came to see him. These great men of learning and knowledge bowed down to Jesus and worshiped him. It's hard to imagine a king or president of our time doing this to a small child, but these men knew the greatness of our Lord. They were not above reproach and deemed it an honor to worship our Lord child.
How about us? We may not be able to offer Jesus gold, but what can we offer Him? Do we acknowledge Him with our time and talents? Do we share what we do have as an offering to Him? Do we take time out of our schedules to reflect on His grace, mercy and love? He is the King of Kings. The wise men of Jesus' time knew that - do we?
During this Advent season, I ask that we look at the gifts that we are giving. Remember that the greatest gift of all was given to us. Let us take the time that the King of Kings deserves to talk with Him, thank Him, love Him, and show Him how grateful we are that He was born!!
Dear Jesus, it seems impossible to bring to you a gift that is worthy of all you have given to us. Yet, we know that what you want from us is our time, our talents, our treasures, and most of all, our love - given to each other. We pray that the Holy Spirit guides us this Advent season to bring the joy of Christmas back to our lives - through sharing that special gift of love with all. Amen"