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 2:11 (ESV)
Every Christmas for the first few years of our courtship and marriage, my husband would give me a dead cow.
Sometimes the gift would take on the form of a purse, other years it would be a jacket . . . wallets, gloves and even scarves too. But regardless to the shape, there was bloodshed to bless me – an ultimate sacrifice was made.
I don’t know if my man was just really into symbolism, or if he just found it convenient to shop at the leather store near his house, but he blessed me this way for several years. Then, we put an end to the slaughter. We agreed to tone down the Christmas gifts and make them smaller and more sentimental.
But the awkward tradition does stay with me. I still have all the leather goods he gave me. Leather tends to hold up well and stands the test of time (thankfully it also stretches a bit as I am no longer my petit pre-wedding size). God made hide tough and resilient.
Unlike my husband who traveled an hour to see me, the magi gave months of their life to take a treacherous journey. And then, upon arrival, before they even unpacked their treasures, they fell down and worshipped Him.
The Magi were not just delivery boys. It was not about the gifts. They had risked all that they had to come and worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, saying “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Christmas should not be about what we are giving or what we’ll receive. It’s about bowing before the One who left his throne in glory to walk amongst his sin-filled creation and in love-filled obedience, laid down his life as the ultimate sacrifice. An eternal gift that is one-size-fits-all. Let’s bow before Him and lay down our gift of time. Oh Worship the King!
Father, we are so thankful that You gave us examples of worship from those who held earthly status and education. Lord, may we too find time this season to fall on our knees in humble adoration and awe of Your Gift. Help us to shine the Light and Truth into the lives of those who are seeking this Christmas. Amen.
Photo by Petr Kratochvil