Sunday, December 4, 2016

Gift of Frankincense

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"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)

Blessings to another wonderful Advent Sunday.  So hard to believe that we are on the 2nd Sunday of Advent already.  What a blessing to have the privilege to prepare for our Savior's birth!  As the days move on and the preparations of Christmas become closer, I cherish this time that I have to sit back and revel in the opportunity to seek Jesus and ask Him to join me in my heart.

We are onto our second wise man - Gaspar.  It is believed that he was the king that brought the frankincense to Jesus.  After last week, I better understand why gold was brought, but now frankincense.  To clarify, frankincense is actually a resin from the bark of a tree that can be burned as incense.  Incense was burned by the holy priests as they prayed for forgiveness for themselves and their people.  As the incense was burning, the priests would continue to pray to God for forgiveness of their sins.  It was considered a special ritual and an important part of the priest's work.

To put it all together, Gaspar knew that this child that was born, Jesus, was the holiest of priests - a priest most high.  Therefore, it is fitting that they presented Jesus with frankincense.  As we now know, as Jesus' ministry took hold, He was seen as the holiest of priests!  Not only would He pray for the forgiveness of people's sins, He would actually be the sacrifice itself to atone for ALL of our sins.  Jesus' role as a high priest is one that we can cherish every day.  Frankincense was a fitting gift for Jesus, Jesus the Highest of Priests.

Last week, we thought about what gifts we could bring to a king.  This week, the question becomes what can we bring to the highest of priests?  As we go about our earthly lives, it is difficult to know what we can bring Jesus.  We spoke of time and talents, but in this case, we can bring our study of the scripture.  In order for us to gain a better relationship with Jesus, the first thing we can do is review the commandments, better understand what our behaviors should look like, and begin living a new life in Jesus.  Let us revere Him the way He should be, with love and humbleness.

As we move through the week ahead, may we take time to go to Jesus in prayer.  Let's ask Him for His help on our journey.  Not every day is easy and so many things can bring distraction away from Jesus during this time of year.  Yet, let us not take our eye off the manger, let us remember the incense that burned for prayer, and let us know that our relationship with Jesus, the high priest, is one of reverence.

"Dearest Jesus, as the wise man brought frankincense to the greatest of priests, may we bring our lives to you.  Help us to pray as you prayed for us.  Help us to behave in a way that magnifies your commandments and help us to study your scripture so that we might enhance our journey towards the manger.  In your gracious name I pray.  Amen."

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Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope we can share how God's grace has been life changing and that SIMPLE FAITH, getting back to a life that is rooted in the basics, can truly set us free to achieve so much in our lives.