One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Most of our impressions about Christmas revolve around concepts like "peace" and "harmony" and "unity." But the first Christmas was filled with intense contrasts. On one hand, we have Herod who is willing to murder countless innocent babies in order to save his position as king. Then there are the three Magi, the wise men from the east:
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. – Matthew 2:11
These were gifts of great monetary and symbolic value:
- MYRRH was a substance used in embalming fluid. This little boy had been born to die as the Savior of mankind! So in giving that gift, the wise men said, "You are Savior, You are worthy to be trusted, we trust You fully."
- INCENSE was burned in the Tabernacle and in the Temple as an act of worship to God. In giving frankincense, they were saying, "You are God, and You are worthy to be worshiped!"
- GOLD was a gift given to kings. In giving the gold to Jesus, they said, "You are King, You are worthy to be followed."
There was a time when your sinful nature was inclined to do what Herod did – clinging to and defending your position as king of your own life. But now that you are in Christ, now that your sinful nature has been crucified with Him (Romans 6), now that His Holy Spirit lives within you (Romans 8), you can listen to His voice that invites you to bow down and worship the Child as Savior and King today.
Jesus, my Lord! With great joy, I follow the leading of Your Spirit in my heart today. I bow before You as my Savior and my King. May my words, thoughts, and actions all be expressions of sincere worship to You. Amen.
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