December 18: Read Matthew 2:10-12 NLT

The Magi’s gifts have been much discussed over the years. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh were costly items. Bible scholars have concluded that the gifts represent Jesus. Gold is a gift for a king, frankincense was commonly a gift for a god or deity, and myrrh was a spice to anoint and/or prepare a body for burial. The Magi’s gifts should make us question what gift(s) we bring to Christ, our King.

Of the many beloved Christmas hymns, “In the Bleak Midwinter” includes one of the most moving and challenging verses:

What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I would do my part.
Yet what I can I give him, give my heart.

Is there any better gift to give Jesus? When exchanging and opening gifts this year, remind everyone that these gifts are a reminder of the gifts brought by the Magi. Make sure you emphasize the gift we bring to Jesus—our hearts. Our whole heart, our whole being, including our love for him and others. That is the proper direction for our Advent journey.

Prayer: I want to give my whole heart to you, loving God. 

Reflection Questions

There is so much still unknown about the Magi who follow the stars to visit the New King. Mystery can bring excitement. What is easy about Advent is to do the same old thing every year, missing that God wants to reveal something new each time. In this Advent season, where are you looking for new mystery? 

What is something in the story of God’s Son being born that you want to learn more about?

What breaks your heart the most today about our fractured world?

How can we bring Jesus into that brokenness to heal it?

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