“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11 KJV
The tradition of giving of gifts is practised in most culture worldwide, more so in December. Interestingly, this is not peculiar to Christians. However, I have a sneaky feeling that this has got to do with the festive atmosphere generated by Christmas. I know someone, somewhere might contest this, but like the lawyers will say, ’the situation speaks for itself’.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV
The reason why we give gifts is to express a sense of appreciation or love. The value and type of the gift is usually a token expression of the occasion and worth of the recipient. The wise men came from the east, presumably thousands of miles away to give three precious gifts to Christ at birth. Think for a moment what this means; to come all that way just to bring gifts to a baby. Secondly, the gifts were of such significance, value and quantity that the whole of Jerusalem took notice. They did all these because they saw a star that they had been waiting for! This speaks loads about the recipient.
Now consider this, the recipient of all the attention of the wisemen is actually a gift to the world. John 3:16, calls Him the only begotten Son of God. That is an expression of the worth God has placed on the recipient, the world (the people, not the material or system). To get an insight, the Bible says that Christ carries the fullness of the Trinity in His body (Colossians 2:9). To be honest, I still cannot fully wrap my mind around the full implication of this.
“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” 2 Corinthians 9:15 KJV
The only way to show appreciation for any gift is firstly, to say ‘thank you’ and more importantly to find out what the gift is meant for and maximise its use. John 3:16, the B part is explicit about the appropriate response. Colossians 2:10 says, we become complete when we unite with Christ. Meaning Christ makes up for any deficiencies or when you have Christ, you have everything you need, wow! Again, that is another mystery I still cannot fully wrap my mind around. No wonder Paul calls Christ the unspeakable gift or too wonderful for words (2 Corinthians 9:15).
As you think about all these, put aside all the perishable gifts from acquaintances, friends and families for a moment and consider the aforementioned. Christmas is a reminder of the expression of the unconditional love of God for us, love so deep and unmatched, so much so that He gave, the best He has to offer, so that we would not perish, but have ETERNAL LIFE ( I think you ought to check out the meaning of eternal life, John 17:3). I say Christ is the gift to end all gifts and He keeps giving. Remember we are complete in Him, so look no further and have a meaningful Christmas.
Revd. Dr. Femi Bosun Idowu
Lead Pastor, NCC StrongNation