Immanuel Lutheran Church
                     of Almelund, Minnesota

 

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Gold, Incense, and Myrrh . . . and a Message to All

How much do babies appreciate the gifts they receive when they are born? Did Jesus, being the Son of God as well as the son of Mary, value the gifts the Magi brought? We would think those gifts impractical for a baby, but then this was not an ordinary baby. That gold bought food and lodging and everything that was needed by the holy family as they fled to Egypt and then got established in a new home. The incense was burned as their prayers ascended to the Father in Heaven, and the myrrh was used some thirty years later to anoint the body later of the Baby grown to be our Savior.

The gifts are traditional gifts of the East. We can be sure that these gifts were appreciated by our Lord, for St. Paul writes, "If the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have" (2 Corinthians 8:12).

Were the gifts of the shepherds that first Christmas night acceptable as well? What did the shepherds bring? The Bible does not record their bringing any gift at all – except, that is, the gift of their running to the stable with anticipation, the gift of their humble worship as their antici-pation turned to realization, and the gift of their "spreading the word concerning what had been told them" as they returned to their flocks, "glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen" (Luke 2:17, 20). It is obvious the willingness was there as the shepherds brought gifts according to what they had. Therefore, accord-ing to Scripture, their gifts were acceptable.

We, too, can be sure that our gifts are appreciated by our Lord – the gifts of our treasures – our gold and silver and the gifts of our praise and adoration as we witness to what we have heard and seen. Like the Magi and the shepherds, we are drawn to the manger bed. Like them, we kneel in awe and adoration. Like them, we use the gifts God gives us, wherever we are, wherever God places us, to spread the word concerning what has been told to us.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!

Your Stewardship Committee

 

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