“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24 (NKJV)
Christmas is my favorite holiday. Through the years, I have collected nativity scenes of different styles, different sizes and made of different materials. Some of the collections have figurines of just Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus. But most of the collections that are considered by the maker as complete sets, include figurines of the three wise men.
I’ve wondered why the wise men are part of the scenes when the shepherds and probably others that had visited the stable, are not normally part of the collections. Perhaps it is because they came to worship, just as the shepherds had, but they also brought gifts along with their worship.
I think that is how we also should come to Christ. We should come with a spirit of worship, but we also should come bearing gifts. And what is the gift we should offer?
Gold – We know that gold is a very valuable metal. When Moses was leading the Israelites, God told Him how to build the tabernacle, a place of worship.
“Take from among you an offering to the Lord. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as an offering to the Lord: gold, silver, and bronze.” Exodus 35:5 (NKJV)
Notice the phrase, “a willing heart.” The people were not to offer anything with a grudging spirit. They were to give because of their heart’s desire to worship God. We no longer have to give material possessions to worship, but we can have a heart of gold to offer to our Lord.
Frankincense – Frankincense was used as part of the sacrifices made to God to allow a sweet fragrance to rise. When we come before God in worship, our praise rises to Him as a sweet aroma.
Myrrh – Myrrh was used as a perfume, an embalming material and as a pain killing drug. As a believer in Christ, we are as a valuable perfume, sweet in His eyes. And we are to offer our bodies a living sacrifice, continually putting ourselves to death so that His Spirit can live within us. And even when we suffer hardships and troubles, Christ is there beside us to comfort us and lessen the pain of living in this world.
What gift will you give to Christ this Christmas? It’s easy to get caught up with the busyness of Christmas and fail to remember to worship Him. Remember the whole story. Hearing about Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus is the main part.
But the story is complete when you include the wise men and how they worshipped Jesus by bowing before Him in worship and by also bringing Him gifts.
When you think about the gifts you are going to give others, don’t neglect to give Jesus your gift of worship. It will rise to Christ as a sweet smelling aroma, an incense worthy of giving to God. It will be the most valuable gift you can give.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the gift You gave us in Your Son. Help me to remember in this busy world to stop and remember the complete nativity story. Please accept my worship as a sweet smelling aroma as I willingly offer You my heart in praise. I love You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.