Happy Friday my sweet friends! Another week has passed, and we are getting ever closer to Christmas. What a joyful time of year to celebrate the birth of our Savior!
Gifts from the Wise Men (or Magi, or Kings?)
As we set out our Precious Moments nativity set every year, we lovingly put Baby Jesus front and center and then build up the rest of the key players in the birth of Jesus. Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds, animals, and the three crowned figurines bearing gifts are always eager to get a closer look at the baby in the manager. Interesting enough, the nativity set that we have outside on the porch consists of the same people, with the only difference being the three non-crown wearing figurines. That nativity set depicts them as wise men or magi bearing gifts.
So, who exactly were these men? How many were there? And where did the come from? The Gospel of Matthew is the only book of the Bible that speaks about these “wise men,” and unfortunately for us, it doesn’t go into great detail. However, as 2 Timothy 3:16-17 states, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” If the Lord wanted us to have the exact details of the visit, He would have had Matthew write every single detail down.
Whoever they are, they knew the prophecy of the Savior, and they wanted to see Him with their own eyes. Expecting to see a mighty, earthly king, they instead saw a toddler with his mother. Biblical scholars believe that Jesus was around two years old when His visitors came seeking Him. Bearing gifts that were fit for a king, they humbly fell down and worshipped our Savior. What a sight that would have been!
The Ultimate Gift
I wanted to share with you a guest post I wrote for the Devotional Diva blog. It can be found here, but I will also include it in this post. http://www.devotionaldiva.com/the-ultimate-gift-a-christmas-devotional/
The aroma of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls filled our small ranch house on that Christmas Day in 1983. The tradition established by my mother was an easy breakfast to fix after the pre-dawn awaking of her children. By the time the rolls were in the oven, the sun was up, the gifts were all opened, and the excess of crinkled up wrapping paper was strewn across the living room floor.
This particular Christmas was different in that the anticipation of getting the one gift that I was hoping for had dissipated. I knew that the chance of me getting the hottest Christmas gift that year was slim to none. The toy had been sold out in stores for months, and to add to that, my father had just been laid off from work. I regretted even putting the toy on my Christmas list, but I prayed that a miracle would happen, and it would be under the tree.
As we sat engrossed in our new toys, my mother broke the silence, looked at me and said, “I think Santa left something in the closet for you!”
The closet? Why would my parents put a gift in the closet? At this point in my childhood, I was old enough to know the truth about Santa, but my five-year-old younger brother was still a believer of the jolly old man in every sense.
After seeing the confused look on my face, my mother said again, “I think you need to look in the closet, Missy.” There was no hesitation this time! I ran over to the bi-fold doors with eager anticipation. As soon as I saw the shape of it, I knew what it was! It was THE gift that I had been asking for! Taking it in my hands, I ran over to my mom and gave her a big hug.
“You don’t even know what it is!” she exclaimed.
I eagerly tore the wrapping paper off to reveal Petunia Marie. She was a preemie with a bald head, a toothless grin, and such a pleasant smell! I held her in my arms and looked at her adoption papers. I was holding the most coveted and sought-after gift of the year, the Cabbage Patch Kid doll.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, my parents had gone without some vital necessities to save up the money to get me that one treasured gift on my list. As a parent myself now, I can empathize with my parents for wanting their children to have the best Christmas ever, only to realize that it may not be a reality due to circumstances beyond their control. For my parents to sacrifice as much as they did for that one gift, was beyond my comprehension as a child.
While I am humbled and thankful for my parents sacrifice that Christmas, the greatest gift in the form of the ultimate sacrifice came from the Lord, Himself.
The Bible says in Isaiah 9:6,
“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
On that first Christmas Day, Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, and Savior, humbly stepped down from His throne and became human. He gave us the ultimate gift of all: His life.
Much like the joy of seeing our own children squeal with delight over getting that one present, they asked for on Christmas morning, can you imagine the joy it brings to the Lord when His beloved children accept His Son, Jesus, as their Lord and Savior?
Christmas is a time to reflect back on memories of the past while having the expectancy of future Christmases. My mother is no longer with us, but I will never forget how she was just as excited as I was on that Christmas morning in 1983. It was indeed the best Christmas ever!
What’s Coming Up Next Week
Tuesday’s post will reflect on Mary, the Mother of our Savior, and Friday’s “Weekend Inspiration,” will be some verses that you can be praying for your children during the week of their finals.
Have a wonderful weekend my dear friends! Please let me know how I can be praying for you this weekend. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Blessings to you all!