Matthew 2:11 “They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” NLT
The Gift – Jim Brickman/Collin Raye/Susan Ashton
Today I woke up to a text by the local community group announcing the arrival of Friday! Included was a list of events available to keep me busy every moment of my two day weekend. The words encouraged me to jump out of bed and make the most of my first weekend of the new year. I thought of all the things I needed to get done, not the least of which was to spend some time writing. I filled my mental to-do list with all kinds of important things such as pay the kohl’s bill, make sure the sprinkler is turned off for the winter, take the crazy dog to the dog park, call the hair stylist to hide my “skunk stripe” before I leave for North Carolina. You know. All the important things.
It occurred to me that as we rushed through the last week, enhanced by the birth of baby Coda and the days spent trying to figure out my latest wacky illness (it is never a good thing when the doctor looks at your symptom, shakes her head and says “well now, isn’t that funky”.), that I saw little mention of the Epiphany. To me it is one of the most important parts of Christ’s birth. It shows, along with the visit from the shepherds, that there were those on the earth that knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this Child was going to change the world. They knew that somehow, someway, someday, He would save us all. We rushed to get to the holidays, rushed through them, and now we are rushing into the new year. We are rushing right past an event that is staggering in it’s simplicity and yet it’s magnitude.
The word Epiphany (when the E is capitalized) means the manifestation of God. It is the celebration of God coming to earth in human form. It is the celebration of the events of His coming including the story of His birth, the story of the angel’s visit to the shepherds, and the visit to Him by the kings. Some of us get bogged down on the story of the three Kings and their gifts. We marvel over the value of the gifts, the meaning of the gifts, the timing of the gifts. What we often miss is that these men traveled for TWO years to reach this child. They put their lives on hold, followed a star they could only find in the darkness, and got lost along the way. (go figure…guys on camels in the dark looking for a loosely defined place) Everything they did defied common sense. They were worshipping a two year old. They were giving gifts of enormous value to the child of a poor carpenter and his wife. Yet they knew, despite all that was probably being said by those around them, that this was HIM. This was God’s gift to the world. This was the Emmanuel – God with us. Because they were so in tune with God, they didn’t hesitate to give His Son their most treasured possessions. But more importantly, they gave Him the gift of themselves when they bowed down to worship who He was going be, without seeing any evidence at that moment. Their gift of faith was the greatest gift of all.
What gift do you bring to Christ today? It may be that your life seems empty of anything of value to give to Him. You have been driven to your knees by sorrow, fear, depression, hurt. Your days are filled with darkness and tears. Or, like me, you are so busy with life and all it’s chaos, that you find yourself forgetting to stop and pray, forgetting to come to Him with your needs. You hold out your empty hands, sure that you have nothing that He could possibly want. Oh sweet friend. You are mistaken. He wants your heart, your soul, your every tear, your every smile, your anger, your joy. When you give Him all that you are, falling on your knees in front of Him, He takes those gifts and gives you Himself in return. He fills every corner of your heart and soul with His peace and love. He transforms every bit of darkness into light. You are His gift. He is your gift. Treasure Him.
The last line of the song “The Gift” by Jim Brickman just about covers how I feel about my Abba. It is a reminder that He loves me every day. Loves me so much He gave me His Son as a gift.
“All I want is to hold you forever all I need is you more every day
You saved my heart from being broken apart
You gave your love away and I’m thankful every day for the gift.”
Dearest Abba, Never let us forget that you gave us Your Son as a gift. All you ask in return is that we invite Him into our heart and live so that we can return to You. Let us be willing to travel through whatever circumstances lie before us to fall on our knees and worship You in gratitude. In the name of that most precious gift, Jesus Christ, Amen
Please feel free to comment on the gifts He has given you.Gifts are best enjoyed when they can be shared.Or share what you would like to give to Him. Let us pray with you and for you as you search for the gift best given. Much love and joy on this wonderful day.