The Gift of Giving

Amy Clemens

Read: Matthew 2:1-12

Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. (v. 11)

Sometimes the gifts that mean the most aren’t the ones wrapped in packages. As a teen, I remember a gift of grace I didn’t deserve. After breaking my parents trust, they acted in faith by giving me another chance rather than disciplining me. Even though I was rebellious, their grace overwhelmed me, and named me “worthy of trust” when I really hadn’t earned it. Their action showed they believed something they didn’t see that day.

When the Magi appear in Bethlehem, they really have no idea who Jesus is. He has not yet healed any lepers, restored any sight, forgiven any sin, or raised anyone from the dead. We often focus on the treasures the Magi brought, yet their worship is perhaps the unexpected, more powerful gift.

It must have shocked Mary and Joseph, wary and weary, to have three powerful foreigners testify to the truth about their child. For God to reveal his plan to Jewish shepherds was one thing; but to these strangers, these Gentiles, it was quite another. Yet, before the Son of God had done anything but make an unorthodox entrance, outsiders name who he most truly is in one simple, profound act. They fall down in worship. A gift of heart that comes before their gifts of treasure.

—Amy Clemens

Giver of good gifts, accept our gift of worship as we realize anew what strangers recognized in your advent more than two thousand years ago.