When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 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.
This, of course, is referring to the story of the wise men coming to visit Jesus. We celebrated Christmas by telling the messages of advent for the weeks leading up to Christmas. Up to this point in the story of the coming of Jesus, the message was about the gifts Jesus brought into our lives – hope, peace, joy, love and ultimately the forgiveness He paid for on the cross. Tremendous gifts.
But this Sunday, we looked at the gifts the wise men brought Jesus – gold, frankincense and myrrh. My role at church is to prepare and deliver a message to the children. I raised the question, what gifts can we bring to Jesus? They couldn’t actually answer me because we are still doing livestreams instead of in person church. But in preparing for this message, I was struck by a humbling awareness that whatever gift I could bring – heart, time, talents, giving to others in His name were gifts that didn’t flow from me freely and regularly. Too much of my time is about me and my to do list and giving to God is an afterthought. I am not proud of this. I can’t deliver a message to the kids I am not willing to live out.
I have repented and purposed to give to God first. I am grateful for the new start that the new year brings and the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.
Then I also raised the question – what does giving your heart to someone look like? Again, no answer! So I answered that when we love someone, we want to be with them as much as possible. We want to know what makes them smile, so we can do those things. And we want to know what hurts their heart so that we can avoid doing those things. When we really love someone, we want to tell everyone we know about this someone we have given our heart to. Just thinking of this someone puts a smile on our face.
Then, the last question. Would you like to give your heart to Jesus?
I won’t know the answer to that last question until we are together in person.
When Jesus is our first love, however, I think those around us will know by our actions. And the smile on our face!
Father God, thank you for the gifts that You sent to this world in the form of a baby so many years ago. Thank you for hope and peace and joy and love and forgiveness. Forgive me for those times I have put You on back burner and taken for granted the love You have given me. Help me please to give you my heart again and again and again and You have so freely done for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
I would love to hear from you. Please let me know if I can be praying for you as well.
pic credit: carolanativitygallery.blogspot.com