Read: Matthew 2:2 Darby Translation |
Jesus is the Reason for the Season!
So remember while December brings the only Christmas Day,
In the year let there be Christmas, in the things you do and say;
Wouldn’t life be worth the living; Wouldn’t dreams be coming true
If we kept the Christmas spirit all the whole year through?
Two weeks ago, my brother asked me to fill in for him as a wise man in their Church play entitled “Christmas Lights” [Union Chapel MB Church, Huntsville, AL] so that he could coordinate the Audio-Visual production. As I put on the wise man costume and they explained my non-speaking role, I reflected on the Biblical story of the Three Wise Men. I pondered the source of their motivation, initiative and perseverance as they traversed” field and fountain, moor and mountain following yonder star”. I embodied their imagined emotions, fears and anticipation as I began my solemn sincere stroll into the spotlight. I worshipfully looked upon baby Jesus, as if for the first time, as we gave Him homage with our gold, frankincense and myrrh.
After my worship-filled Oscar worthy 30 second performance, only God may have noticed the depth, breadth and range of emotions I portrayed (smile). Yet even now, I marvel at how God used these non-Jews to find and then follow the supernatural star signifying the birth of the King of Kings. They understood its meaning, listened to the call in their hearts and were moved to act on it by giving homage – worship. In contrast, King Herod and his religious leaders understood the sign and its message. However, they providently gave Him deadly jealous hostility instead of homage.
This Christmas season go the distance and the follow the Father of Lights. Give homage to Him with our equivalent of gold – our stewardship, frankincense – our righteousness and myrrh – our perseverance. Our homage is the worship filled glory and honor we give to God without asking for anything in exchange [Homage as a Way of Worshipping God, Rev. Jose Oliveira, M. Div.].
Gold – The Homage of Christ-like Stewardship
The gift of gold to the new born King was symbolic of His divinity—God in flesh. [“Why did the Magi bring gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus?”, Got Questions]. Gold is and was a precious metal and a very valuable commodity. Some suggest that, the wise men’s gift of gold may have financed Joseph and Mary’s trip to Egypt. Based on the Bible record, the Ark of the Covenant was overlaid with gold (Exodus 25:10-17), Solomon’s Temple used gold throughout (2 Kings 6), and the streets of Heaven are paved with gold (Revelations 21:21).
Our homage of gold is a gift of our stewardship – Time, Talent and Treasure. One day, our stewardship will be measured. If anyone builds on this foundation using works of gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, the fire will test the quality of each person’s work [I Corinthians 3:11-13]. This Christmas year, let our stewardship be divine and golden as we give homage through using more of our time, talent and treasure for the Lord’s glory.
Frankincense – The Homage of Reflecting His Righteousness
The gift of frankincense to God incarnate was symbolic of His willingness to become a sacrifice for our sins. Frankincense is a highly fragrant white resin or gum, which was burned as a pleasant offering to God (Exodus 30:34). Frankincense serves as a symbol of holiness and righteousness.
Our homage of frankincense is that we seek to live holy and righteous. As we confess our sins, Jesus covers our sins so that we are righteous and can stand before God holy and acceptable to Him. Righteousness, therefore, is a byproduct of our active faith in God and is present when we live according to God’s will (Psalm 1:4-6; Isaiah 1:16-17). By God’s grace, the Holy Spirit and our faith, we maintain our righteousness. This Christmas year, strive to live more righteously as homage to Jehovah-Tsidkenu – The Lord Our Righteousness.
Myrrh – The Homage of Perseverance
The gift of myrrh to our infant Savior was symbolic of the bitterness, suffering, and affliction He would endure for us. Myrrh was a spice, the principal ingredient in the holy anointing oil (Exodus 30:23) and was used in embalming.
Our homage of myrrh is that we persevere and press on towards our calling in spite of suffering through trials and tribulations [Romans 5:3-5; Philippians 3:13-15]. The life of a believer is neither pain nor problem free, but our Savior has provided the Holy Spirit to guide and aide us as we persevere [1 Timothy 4:16]. This Christmas year, persevere and keep the faith and spread the sweet aroma of the Gospel to those who need to hear [2 Corinthians 2:14-17].
These wise men followed the Shekinah light and found Jesus. As the acclaimed Pastor C. H. Spurgeon, said in “The Star and the Wise Men” in 1892: ”They saw the Infinite in the infant; the Godhead gleaming through manhood; the glory hiding beneath the swaddling bands. Undoubtedly there was a spiritual splendor about this matchless child. If these wise men of old came to Jesus and worshipped, should not we come also this Christmas year?”
The way we spend Christmas is far more important than how much.
– Henry David Thoreau
a. In your household, how do you balance the commercial Christmas with the “Christ” in Christmas? Post your comments below.
a. Gold – How can I be a better Steward as a gift for Jesus?
b. Frankincense – How can I live more righteously as a gift for Jesus? What barriers must I remove?
c. Myrrh – How can I show more perseverance in my faith walk? What trips me up the quickest or makes me want to revert to my old ways?
a. Gold – Add one more event to your calendar to share your gifts each week by signing up at Church or your community to give back as a gift to God.
b. Frankincense – Ask your prayer partner to be your accountability partner and help you break every chain the binds you, one at a time,
c. Myrrh – Increase your perseverance by deciding to be more of an over-comer in one area. After you have conquered one are, praise God and move on to the next.