Hopefully by now your Christmas shopping is about wrapped up (corny pun INTENDED). I’ve often thought about the person who wrote the Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas. If you add up the number of gifts sung about in the song, you would see there are 364 gifts!
Someone has said that Christmas is that time of year when you buy presents you can’t afford, for people you don’t like, to impress people you don’t know. Hopefully your Christmas giving is not going to be that cynical!
But the gifts we give are important. We want the person to know they are loved. We don’t give expecting to get back an equal or better gift. Truly the best Christmases I remember are those when I had a gift to give that was so meaningful and given in so much love that I literally could not wait for the privilege to share it!
That’s what the wise men did. They traveled from afar bearing gifts from their homeland. If we estimate the time of their journey correctly, they traveled two years to bring their gifts to the newborn King! That’s some long road trip. (see Matthew 2:1-12)
But there was no hint that they gave their gifts in selfishness or with resentment for what they had to go through to get to the house where Jesus was. They opened their gifts gladly, carefully deciding who got to approach the manger first.
A missionary teacher shared the story of a student who traveled on foot for two days to bring her a Christmas gift. While he didn’t fully understand what Christmas was about, he carefully crafted a clay candle holder for her gift, and then began walking. When he arrived, hungry and weary from the trip, she gently scolded him for coming so far to present the gift. He said something she never forgot: “I came because I love you. The journey was part of the gift.”
And at Christmas, we hear the Father whisper the same to us.
Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)
FOR REFLECTION: Think of the most meaningful Christmas present you ever received. Thank God for the person who loved you enough to give it.