On entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Consider the gifts offered by the magi. What gift will you give to Jesus this Christmas season?
Read Matthew 2:9-12.
While gifts of diapers, baby clothes, and a donkey-compatible car seat may seem more practical, I’m sure the valuable gifts brought by the magi came in handy as the young family traveled to and settled in Egypt. Far beyond their monetary value, though, the gifts of the magi had great symbolic meaning.
Gold is a symbol of royalty. The gift of gold pointed to Jesus’ kingship.
Frankincense was used in prayer and worship. Frankincense was given in recognition of Jesus’ divinity and his priestly role as mediator between us and the Father.
Myrrh was an oil used in embalming. The gift of myrrh foreshadowed Jesus’ death.
If Jesus were born today in the United States, instead of two thousand years ago in Bethlehem, the gifts may have been a little different. Perhaps the wise men would have brought Jesus a presidential seal made of solid gold, a kneeler, and a headstone.
During the last week of Advent, I invited you to consider which of the titles for Jesus most resonated with you. (Flip back to Dec. 20 to refresh your memory.) What gifts would you choose to symbolize the names for Jesus that mean the most to you?
Here are some of the things I might give Jesus: