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Carefully Prepared Gifts of Worship

Music attribution: The O’Neill Brothers Group, The Holly & The Ivy from Joyous Christmas Carols on Piano


When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 

And going into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother,

and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures,

they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh (Matthew 2:10-11 ESV).


Magi from the East searched the skies for the star that would herald the coming of a great king.


Its appearance was the highly awaited sign that would signal the pilgrimage of these wise men. Far greater than the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, it was an instrument in God’s providential hands.


At first glimpse of heaven’s prepared light, those stargazers were overjoyed beyond measure. So they loaded their cargo and journeyed westward, guided by the star—with a determination to honor the newborn King.


We don’t know their number, but their gifts were three. They were gifts carefully prepared and rich with meaning. Their offerings were costly. Their gifts, extravagant. No stingy Scrooge could be counted among them.


They didn’t give to get.


Nor should we.


But unfortunately, our interactions can amount to more of an exchange than actual giving. Because how often is there an expectation for something of equal value in return?


But God, our Father, is generous! He gives good gifts.


And when the Gift of His Salvation was born, these men responded. They traveled far to give honor. To give worship. To give of the gifts they’d been given.


The extravagant gifts they offered were:

      Gold, to crown Him King;

            Frankincense, as a worship offering;

                  And myrrh, symbolic of the sacrifice He’d become.


If you were to prepare a gift, what would your treasure box hold?


No gold?

      No myrrh?

            No frankincense? 


That’s ok.

      That is not what He requires.

            Simply give Him your devotion.


Prepare a gift of worship.

      Prepare it carefully.

            Then, with exceedingly great joy, offer it to your King.


I can think of no better way to close than with this quote from William Law in A Classic Nativity Devotional1: 


“When therefore the first spark of a desire after God arises in your soul, cherish it with all your care, give all your heart into it, it is nothing less than a touch of the divine loadstone, that is to draw you out of the vanity of time into the riches of eternity. Get up therefore and follow it as gladly as the wise men of the East followed the star from heaven that appeared to them. It will do for you, as the star did for them.”




[1] A Classic Nativity Devotional by James Stuart Bell quoted from William Law The Spirit of Prayer



Thank you for reading along through this advent season! Grace and peace.

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