What Gifts Do We Bring?
A devotion based on the Three Wise Men at the Nativity by Steve Negley
Like many people, I have more than one nativity set. One of my nativity sets helps me focus on the part of the Christmas story where the wise men bring their gifts to the Christ child.
This particular nativity set was a gift from my parents. They had purchased it on a trip to Alaska, and wanted me to add it to my collection. The figurines, including Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, and an angel, are made of rosin. They all have black hair, and appear to be dressed in native Alaskan garb. What I love most about this set are the three characters bearing gifts.
One of the figures is holding drum. Another is presenting baskets filled with berries. The third is bringing a gift of fish for the baby and his family. I have told the nativity story enough times in classes and sermons to know about gold, frankincense, and myrrh (and gifts appropriate for king, God, and sacrifice). This Alaskan nativity set helps me to think on a more personal note about what each of the wise men offered up. That often turns the question of devotion back to me, personally. What do I bring each Christmas as my own gift for the Christ child? If I give Him what I have, He will be happy.
Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12
Thought for the Day: Meditate on these words from Christina Rossetti’s poem: “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.”
Prayer: King of the Universe, the wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Him who was born King of the Jews. All of us regardless of our financial status can give our hearts to Jesus, but we can also use the gifts God has given us for God’s glory. Accept the gifts we offer as we seek to build up Christ’s Church and to advance and expand God’s kingdom, for Christ’s sake. Amen.