Matthew 2:9-11 …they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 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 and of incense and of myrrh.
Is your birthday in December, like Jesus? We all experience the excitement of our birthdays and the gifts that family and friends may give to us. You and I receive cards and gifts from loved ones because of our relationship to them. Christmas seems to be unfair. It’s Jesus’ birthday but you and I get all the cards and gifts. Whoever’s birthday is observed should receive the gifts. Why do we get the presents and cards?
Matthew’s Gospel story of the birth of Jesus tells of three wise men who came to bring gifts to the new-born child. They did the right thing. They brought gifts to the one whose birthday it was. They even traveled a long and risky route to present their gold, incense and myrrh personally to the birthday child.
It is easy to get lost in the Christmas stampede. The decorations, meals planned, gift buying, wrappings and television “Holiday Specials” all find a way of occupying our mind and our stealing our attention. Like Jesus, do we really need gold, frankincense and myrrh? Are we willing to take a different route, like the wise men, to find our way to Jesus himself?
When he grew up, Jesus left to us a different example and message. For him the only gift we can bring him is our devotion. His desire is that this Christmas we present at his feet our heart, mind and body. This giving of ourselves to Him fulfills his wish at Christmas. Should we concentrate on giving ourselves to Him and to others we will find the true joy of Christmas and the fulfillment that only He can give us this season of the year.