Today’s Reading: Matthew 2:11-12 NIV
11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with His mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
Yesterday, our family gathered to celebrate Jesus’ birthday! All three of our children came home and all five grandchildren were together over the weekend, playing and laughing, and enjoying the blessings of family.
The meal was delicious, but my favorite part was the dessert! We should have eaten dessert first! Grandpa Jeff bought an ice cream birthday cake from our favorite fast food restaurant. We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and enjoyed a little slice of heaven. Even my mother ate an entire piece of ice cream cake! I don’t know of anyone who would turn down ice cream cake at Christmastime.
The grandchildren were delighted to find Bible trivia card games in their stockings. We played Bible trivia most of the afternoon. I learned something new! Grandpa Jeff asked the following to Joshua and Emily: The three wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and ______________ to the baby Jesus. Without hesitation, five year old Emily filled in the blank – chicken nuggets! Seven year old Joshua loves trivia. He took the cards and was reading questions to the adults sitting around the room. He turned to me and said, “Nanny, this question is for you because you are a church person.” His mother, Rachel, laughed out loud and said, “What – I don’t count even though I go to church and teach Sunday school every week?” I am convinced that Grandmothers are very special people for young hearts. I am glad my grandson sees me as a church person; yet, I still have so much to learn. I am sorry to say that I failed the spelling bee when I tried to spell Frankincense without looking at a Bible to help me.
It is easy to forget the reason why we give gifts at Christmas. Sometimes, we make way too much over purchasing large, expensive packages, and we end up missing the point. The wise men had traveled for months, following the star in the east, just to see and worship the newborn king. They brought special treasures and gave gifts from the heart, knowing it would carry a special meaning for the baby boy and his parents. Are you missing the point this year?
The greatest gift the world has ever received is the gift of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, who willingly became fully human; yet, remained fully divine. He arrived in a most unlikely way, born as a babe to a poor young girl and her soon-to-be husband in a cold, dark stable one extraordinary night in the town of Bethlehem. Jesus is our true present! May you find yourself drawn into Christ’s holy presence this week. What gift would you give to honor our Lord?
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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