When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. They entered the house and saw the child with Mary his mother. Falling to their knees, they honored him. Then they opened their treasure chests and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. – Matthew 2:10-11
Saturday evening I spent some time preparing for the Sunday morning class I teach at WFPC. This week we’re talking about the story of the magi who came from the east to worship the infant Jesus, bringing him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
I especially love this story because it points out the connection between wisdom, actively seeking out knowledge, and the path to God. These travelers not only used their brains, their learning, and their creativity, but they listened to their hearts. Then they took it all on the road and they did not give up until they found their way to Jesus.
That is a message that speaks a critical truth. We can search and study and theorize and sound so earnest… but at some point we need to put up, stand up, head out, hit the road, and find our way to Jesus.
What if the gifts were for you?
One of the questions I will be asking my class is this: “If magi showed up at your house, prepared to give three gifts, l wonder what would you choose?” (or, better, “what do you need?)”
Jesus did not choose his gifts. In a sense they were prescient glimpses into the difficult story that was to unfold over the course of his short life, a story both arrestingly beautiful and unavoidably tragic.
I would ask – I am asking – for gifts designed to equip me to effectively navigate 2021:
- So I ask for wisdom – because wise people still follow the star.
- I ask for a clear voice – so I can share the good news story more effectively.
- And I ask for the gift of time to write – because there are so many stories I need to learn, and so many that need to be told.
In love, and because love continues to come down at Christmas – DEREK