For most of us Christmas 2010 has come to an end. Gifts have been exchanged and decorations unassembled and tucked away. However, as I have driven through the local neighborhoods, I have noticed there are a few "hold-outs" with Christmas decorations still to be seen and to enjoy.
The True Gift of Christmas needs to be carried throughout the year. One of the message-bearers of the True Gift is the group of Wisemen who traveled so far, faithfully following a star, seeking a King. Many have disagreed as to when the Wisemen actually arrived and how many Wisemen were there and how old was Jesus at the time
But the true gift they bring to us is their response upon finding the King. The visit of the Magi is recorded in Matthew 2: 1-12. The star that had been their guide finally stopped "over the place where the child was" (v. 9).
The Wisemen responded in three ways:
They were "overjoyed" (v.10), not just because they had reached their destination and their journey was complete. They rejoiced because they had found the King, the Messiah. Their King is also your King Jesus who came that we might have "life and have it to the full." (John 10:10).
The Wisemen did not see a child. They recognized and acknowledged Jesus as the true King. They "bowed down and worshipped Him." (v. 11a). They humbled themselves, putting aside all their worldly wealth, education, culture, plans and position to honor King Jesus.
After recognizing the King, after worshipping Jesus, "then they opened their treasures" (v. 11b) and gave gifts to Him. Their joy, their worship was not complete without giving their best.
Questions to ask yourself for this new year, 2011:
n Have you found King Jesus? Are you "overjoyed" with delight that you know Jesus? Do you worship Him? Do you praise Him as your Savior? Do you thank Him for everything in your life? Yes, I said everything. Are you overflowing with a generous spirit? Are you giving your best?
n Let 2011 be the year you receive the True Gift of the Wisemen, discover Jesus and your need for Him. Surrender all of yourself to Him, give Him all your "stuff" and ask Him into your heart. Let go of selfish desires as you lovingly adore Him, praise Him and thank Him. Give Jesus your all and allow His generous spirit to overflow through you.
n God has already given us the True Gift, Jesus. The True Gift of the Wisemen is how we respond to Jesus, not just at Christmas but all year long.
Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week's column comes from Pastor Janis Heiser of New Hope Fellowship.