“After listening to the king, they went on their way. 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.”
What a contrast! Imagine the foreigners trooping through Bethlehem with their servants and animals, bright with strange fabrics and gold trappings. They stop before an utterly ordinary house. Joseph doesn’t seem to be home—has he found work by now?—but Mary is there with Jesus, who is probably a toddler at this point, playing on the floor while His mother cooks and cleans. Were the wise men surprised?
No matter. They fall down and worship Him. Here, finally, is a king worthy of worship—innocent, gentle, at peace with the people around Him. They offer Jesus gifts which hint at His future—gold, for His kingship; frankincense, for His deity; and myrrh, for His suffering and death for His people. And they are happy.
It doesn’t last long. The young King will soon be a refugee in Egypt; the wise men, on their way home in a hurry. But they will remember the Child to whom they gave gifts—Jesus who is God’s gift to them and to the whole world. Jesus, who lay down His life for them and for us—and who rose from the dead, so that we might share His gift of everlasting life.
Prayer: Holy Father, thank You for the gift of Your Son Jesus. Amen.
* Name one favorite gift you have received in your life.
* What made it special?
* Tell about a time when you were able to share the gift of Jesus with someone else.
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on January 2, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved