The Journey of the Magi
Toward the Epiphany
In reading Daily Guideposts, 2017, I came across a devotional written by Rick Hamlin. He was sharing about his family tradition of putting up a crèche. His son, who “…was always a stickler for detail,” set the family tradition so that the wise men did not get put in the manger until January 6, the Epiphany, when they actually visited the Christ child. Until that time the wise men were placed on a distant table facing the crèche to represent their journey. In addition, the baby was not placed in the manger until Christmas Eve. The Advent weeks preceding were spent both spiritually and visually in anticipation.
I thought this was a wonderful tradition. Needless to say, I have my wise men on a table facing the crèche…as a symbol of their journey. They actually arrived at a “house” to see Christ as a “young child,” but for the crèche tradition they symbolize a journey. They are in part a symbol of the journey taken the first week of each New Year to bring our very best gifts to Him that He may mold, shape and use us in the coming year to bring His Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven.
Sacred Gifts for The King
Worship Him as did the shepherds. As the Magi did, travel far from your natural trappings to honor Him. Offer gifts to Him as did the wise men. They brought gold to represent His royal kingship and the wealth of His kingdom to come. Frankincense, quite costly and most often used as the main ingredient in incense, was carried from afar. Myrrh, a resin much like frankincense, most often used in anointing and embalming, was brought to represent His anointing as well as His foretold death.
What Gifts Do You Bring?
What gifts can you bring to Him as King? What gold can you place before Him? The most precious thing you can give to Him is your heart. Bring your whole heart placed by faith in His loving hands to mold and shape as He sees fit. By making Him Lord of your life that is just what you will be doing…giving Him your life to refine as gold and use for His Kingdom. It is through faith that you can offer Him your heart completely without fear.
Next, representing frankincense, you can purpose to give Him your prayers to rise as sweet incense to His heavenly throne. We are not talking here about rote prayers that are hurriedly spouted off as you are multitasking. Your prayer time is your communication and communion time with God. Communication is a two way process. Speak as well as listen to hear what He has to say to you.
Read His Scripture daily. Hear where He would have you go next. Hear what He would have you do next. Sit in your quiet place and listen to His still, small voice. Let your spirit hear what the Spirit of the Lord would say to you. Frankincense is quite costly even today. Time with the Lord is the most sacred and valuable time you will spend.
And finally, let your myrrh offering be the complete death of self, embalmed with all your preconceived ideas of who you are and what you are doing and where you are going. As you truly die to self you will rise up anointed to do His work. You will rise up anointed to answer His call on your life. Anything else falls short for a true follower of Jesus Christ. This is the most perfect time to find the narrow gate and enter therein. Enter in. Enter in to give your best to Him. Enter in to His best for you!
The Greatest Gift
Prepare your costly and most precious gifts to present them to your King. As you present your presents to Him, may God richly bless you this New Year with His presence! I wish a most heartfelt New Year blessing to each of you, your family and friends.
I realize this season can be difficult for many. Just remember to stay close to the Lord especially during this time and He will ease your heart. May God’s peace and grace permeate your year and your heart forevermore. After all, it is always a heart issue!
For it is written:
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him”…and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11
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Remember, it is always a heart issue!
“Yet who knows whether you have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this?”
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