DEVOTIONAL: “And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 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 2:9b-11, ESV.
CHALLENGE: Christmas is upon us, and New Year’s is soon thereafter. Many of us will be celebrating Christ’s birth while others honour gifts from the fabled gift-giver known as Santa Clause or Saint Nick. I am not saying that presents are all bad, for baby Jesus was given three from the Magi. Thus the gifts are not the reason that we need to search our hearts for this season.
When the wisemen sought the “King of the Jews”, it was not to bring Him the gold and frankincense and myrrh. They sought Jesus in order to worship Him. King Herod asked them to bring back word so that he can also worship Him (v. 8). So he claimed while the truth was to kill the Christ Child (v. 16).
How does Herod’s evil heart relate to our gift-giving during Christmas?
It all goes to the heart of the matter and the heart of the season. What does Christmas mean to us? What does family mean? Why do me gather on this holy day?
Our intentions may not be to rid the world of Jesus, but we do just that when we shift our focus from Him to the material goods we exchange. Give gifts not for the sake of gift-giving, but for the sake of family and to share in the love of Christ our Lord and Saviour.
Why do you celebrate Christmas? Are we praying for our communities to know the true reason for the season? Are we sharing with others the greatest gift of all, who is Christ the Lord?