What do you bring a King for his birthday?
I think the wise men knew something we didn’t. Seriously, when I go to a baby shower, I usually bring diapers, bottles or clothing; not gold, frankincense and myrrh.
“When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! 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.” ~ Matthew 2:10-11 (NLT)
As a family, we go to great lengths to have everything in our home point back to Jesus. We do this so that we don’t lose sight of why we celebrate Christmas.
However, this year the Lord has really been working on our hearts in regards to how we give gifts.
Usually a few weeks leading up to Christmas, we spend time sowing into others, serving in the community and giving gifts to those God has placed on our hearts.
On Christmas morning there’s great peace knowing we have made Christ the focus, given to those in need, and now we can enjoy this time as a family.
We typically start out with communion and prayer before opening gifts. And then our children look for their gifts wrapped in “their” special wrapping paper.
As parents, we don’t overdo it, we keep it simple and that is usually dictated by a budget. But as I’ve been studying about the gifts the wise men brought Jesus, I began to consider how we can change our gift giving, so that it too points others back to Christ.
When I examined the gifts the wise men brought Jesus, I realized their gifts of: gold, frankincense and myrrh, were purposeful. They weren’t random, but intentional.
And since all of scripture is for our benefit, that means once we know the reasons behind the gifts, we can then give gifts with the same meaning today.
Gold was a precious metal; a commodity, and considered HIGH in value. In Exodus 25 God gives instructions for the tabernacle to be built with gold. The wise men knew gold was of high value and brought the very best to Jesus.
We too can give the gift of gold, by giving a gift that’s high in value. But let me define high value. This would be what is valuable to the recipient. Something THEY WANT or NEED, not necessarily what YOU want them to have, or what YOU THINK they need.
This was an oil that was used for worship, specifically in the tabernacle in front of the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 30:34-37). This oil was considered holy and set apart for God. So when the wise men brought frankincense to Christ, they brought it to worship Him, knowing that Christ was holy and set apart.
We can give gifts of frankincense today, by giving gifts for spiritual growth; gifts that help others worship God. This can be a Bible, journal, devotional, Christ-centered home décor, etc.
Myrrh was used for: medicinal purposes, for purification, for those who were suffering, and sometimes used for embalming bodies. It was an oil that represented bitterness, suffering and pain. So when the wise men brought Myrrh to Jesus, it was representative of Christ taking on our pain and suffering.
I don’t think any of us want to give gifts of pain and suffering, but we can give gifts for our bodies. Things like clothes, undergarments, perfume, cologne, skin care, etc.
I don’t know about you, but this puts things in perspective for me. It got me thinking, as much as we try to point everything about the Christmas season to Christ, shouldn’t we do the same with our gifts?
For me, my spirit was convicted to make sure our gifts going forward reflect:
Gold: something of value
Frankincense: something for spiritual growth
Myrrh: something for your body
I got so excited about this, I created gift tags that can be used for our gifts to each other accordingly. Now, our gift giving will be purposeful and intentional, like the gifts the wise men brought to Christ.
I cannot wait to finish wrapping all our gifts with these new tags. Just think of the opportunities we will have to share the birth of Jesus Christ with others. Not to mention, the teachable moments with our children when they open their gifts!
Receiving gifts is probably the most favorite tradition of Christmas for many. However, let’s be purposeful and intentional about our gifts; so that they point others to Jesus Christ. After all, He is the reason for the season.
Tell me, how will you give gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh this Christmas?
PS…Feel free to download the Christmas Gift Tags below. You can print them on any color card-stock paper that compliments your wrapping paper. And if you wrap a gift using these tags, take a picture and share it with us on social media, we would love to see your packaging.
~ Timberley Gray
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