2019 Advent Devotional – Day 21


Matthew 2:11-12The wise men presented Jesus with gifts

On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Shine - Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontario

It is perhaps the most iconic moment of Matthew’s Nativity: the wise men kneeling in front of Jesus and offering him gifts. The gifts themselves were of immense value; their extravagance meant they were only used in the most lavish of circumstances, most typically by royalty. But more than the physical gifts, the homage offered was a gift of adoration and reverence. And through their worship, the wise men bestow on Jesus the acknowledgement of and witness to his divine status.

The wise men, however, received a gift themselves: God warned them in a dream to avoid Herod and Jerusalem on their journey home. They are saved from any association with Herod’s plot against Jesus, and from any punishment he may have inflicted.
Like the wise men, we are called to share our gifts in praise and honour of God. And equally, we have also been blessed with gifts from God. Indeed, we can only share our blessings because we have first been blessed ourselves.

In this season of tangible and commercial gifts, let us remember and reflect the reverence of the wise men in our worship of God. And may we equally imitate the abundance of their giving, as we give of ourselves and serve God.

Generous God,
Your gifts to me are boundless. I praise the gift of your creation; wondrous as much in the immensity of mountains and oceans, as in the delicacy of a butterfly’s wings. I give you thanks for the unique talents you have bestowed upon me, and ask that you sustain and encourage me to offer these gifts to you in service. May I humbly worship the gift of your grace, shared with me in your limitless act of love. Amen.

Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2020.

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