“They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod. After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.” – Matthew 2:11-15
Yesterday, Steph and I spent the day relaxing and preparing the gifts we plan on giving to those we love this Christmas. It was a wonderful and relaxing, albeit busy day just before Christmas arrives. It is now Christmas Eve and we look a the cookies that were baked and the presents that were wrapped and smile. Christmas is nearly here!
One of the traditions in our home is to go outside at about 11:55 PM this evening and read Matthew and Luke’s account of Christ’s birth aloud. It is always so quiet and peaceful outside and gathering as a family as the clock moves into Christmas Day means so much to us. This year, I was reading these passages beforehand and was reminded of a thought I had a few years ago.
The passage in Matthew above talks about the Magi from the East finally reaching Christ. They had finally reached the King of the Jews that was prophesied about. They brought with them gifts befitting a King. Chests of gold, frankincense, and myrrh were given to Christ. It doesn’t say how much was given, but it can be assumed it was more than would have been insulting to give a King and less than what their camels/mules could carry. This would have been a fortune to nearly anyone in that day. This begs the question, why did the Magi travel all this way to give so much to Christ? Also, what did Mary and Joesph do with so much wealth suddenly given to them?
Although the Bible doesn’t specifically state it, I believe that this gift was used to take care of Jesus and his family in Egypt. From personal experience, traveling is expensive and especially spur of the moment travel. It wasn’t too long after the Magi left them an angel told Joseph to wake up and flee. Joseph wasn’t able to attach a trailer to a truck and pack everything up and move. No, he had to literally flee in the middle of the night with his family. The Word tells us that they stayed there in Egypt until Herod died.
There are a few lessons that I have learned from dwelling and thinking on this:
1.) Trust the Lord to meet the needs in your life.
Joseph and Mary had no idea what the next few years had in store for them. By faith, they each accepted God’s will for Christ to come to this Earth. Mary accepted that she would become pregnant out of wedlock and Joseph accepted that he should make Mary his wife. They traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem together for the census and gave birth to their firstborn with animals. After all of this had taken place, they would then have to leave the country for the safety of their son’s life. God provided the finances they would need to sustain them on their trip just before hey departed.
2.) Pay attention to what’s going on around you through the perspective of God’s Word.
The Magi had been faithful to read and study scripture (among anything else they were studying). Since they had been paying attention to what was happening to the west of them they prepared gifts fitting for a King and departed. Due to their faithfulness and willingness to fulfill their role in Christ’s birth we still read about them today. No matter how small or insignificant it may seem to you, be faithful. Even the largest grandfather clock will not run correctly (if at all) when the smallest gear is removed.
3.) When giving a gift, think of the purpose and how it can change the recipient’s life.
Finally, don’t just get someone a gift to “check the box”. If you are going to give a gift to someone think about how it could impact their lives. Could you meet a need of theirs out of love to help them through a rough time? Could you give them a gift that may contain wisdom or knowledge they need to help them at a point of indecision? Could you make or get them something that goes back to a shared memory together from years ago to brighten their day? The Magi’s gift to Christ changed Mary, Joseph and Jesus’ lives for the better that day. We should seek to do the same for those we share gifts with.
Merry Christmas from Brewing Wisdom