Recently the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, also known as Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan, crossed the “big pond”, also known as the Atlantic Ocean; from their home in England, to attend a baby shower in the “Big Apple” given by friends of the parents-to-be. First, of all I thought I sure am glad that I was not on that guest list! Second, I thought if I had been invited what in the name of heavens would I give as a baby shower gift for the child whose mouth at his or her birth might easily contain a silver fork, knife, and spoon. Yes, I certainly would not know what to get such a child nor would I feel wealthy enough to give a gift appropriate for such a royal.
Interestingly, enough, a couple living in one of my “hometowns,” Thomasville, North Carolina, was involved in a furniture making business. On the occasion of Prince William’s birth to Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the couple had a special chair made for this young heir to the British throne. An article appeared in the local newspaper, but I never heard about any gift acknowledgment received from their Royal Highnesses. I am certain that the chair exhibited fine craftsmanship. More than likely the young prince may have received any number of chairs as gifts in celebration of his birth. Needless to say, selecting a gift for royalty is a daunting task.
In today’s story from the Gospel of Matthew, Wise Men have been searching for this baby king. They had followed a star that led them to the place where they found the child Jesus, his mother, Mary, and Joseph in Bethlehem.
“They were quiet so that they wouldn’t wake baby Jesus. They knelt beside his bed. He was so tiny. They kissed his little cheek. ‘Sleep well, little one,’ they said, and they left gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Those were very expensive gifts. They were gifts fit for a king.”
These Wise Men knew their gifts had to be special for the baby king. They also gave gifts of themselves … by adoring Him and kissing Him on the cheek. While these Wise Men symbolically presented a gift to Jesus for all of us, we end up receiving ourselves. The narrator says, “Jesus was God’s promise born for us, a gift to all people.” When giving gifts to others, regardless of their station in life, help us always to give the very best we can give … the most we can afford … trusting that the recipients will receive them along with the love we hold for them in our hearts. Truly, all our gifts will be fit for a king because we will have given the best we have to offer.
Most Holy One, who received the first Christmas gifts, we thank You for our best Christmas gift, the gift of Yourself. Help us when we give … to give generously and gladly. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.