The excitement and anticipation of opening gifts on Christmas morning is experienced by most children across Canada and the United States. Because our dad was a Detroit fireman, he often worked on Christmas day. We were used to opening our Christmas gifts on days other than the 25th. Sometimes we would open them on Christmas Eve before he left for work early the next morning. But once in a while it was the day after Christmas. From this we learned that it wasn’t the date we opened the gifts that was important but rather it was the act of showing our love to each other through gift giving that was the focus.
The practice of gift giving was probably inspired by the biblical account of the gifts brought to Jesus by the wise men from the east.
"Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”… 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. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. (Portions of Matthew 2:1-12 ESV)
These men were scholars of scripture. They knew the prophecies that spoke about the coming King of the Jews, and had traveled for days, possibly months, following the star to find Christ. The purpose of their journey was to worship Jesus. Notice the words describing the emotions of the wise men. “When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” When they found the home and saw young Jesus, they “fell down and worshipped him,” and then “offered him gifts”.
These men were filled with gladness because they had found Jesus. They believed him to be the promised messiah, sent from God. They worshipped him first, and then offered Him their gifts, most likely the best of their earthly possessions.
Today we have the benefit of reading the full account of Jesus’ life on earth. We are able to read of His miraculous birth, His powerful teaching and then of His sacrificial death and powerful resurrection. The whole purpose of Christ’s life on earth was for Him to die and take our punishment. His desire is to give us the best gift we could ever receive, the gift of forgiveness and freedom from guilt and shame.
This is a wonderful time of year to accept His gift of Salvation to you, and for you to give Jesus the gift of your love, and devotion.
A clear explanation of God’s gift of salvation and how to obtain peace with God is found at: http://peacewithgod.jesus.net/
My desire is that you will receive the Gift that Christ offers you today. My longing is that you will know Gladness like the Wise Men knew as they bowed before the King of Kings. And my prayer for you is that you will experience the Salvation Jesus has provided through His death, burial, and resurrection.
Debi Snider... more