Saturday, December 10, 2011

Advent: Three Wise Men

Most Christians would agree that we don't know how many wise men there were. Likely there were more than three, but over the years our nativity scenes have included those three men to indicate the number of gifts recorded in specific detail in the nativity story.

And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.1

The first lesson we get from the wise men is in how they found Jesus. They watched! It's unclear why they were watching, but they were looking for a sign. They might have known Daniel's prophecy (Daniel 9:24-7) or they could even been aware of the old testament calling for a king of the Jews. Regardless of how they knew, they responded to the signs. They had seen His star in the East, they were watching for it!

Do we respond to the signs in our life that God is active? When we see something or hear something that seems to indicate God is working, and that He is among us do we follow the signs? Do we look for Him? Or do we think "It's but a coincidence." Do we set out on the journey that is laid out before us, looking for the King of Kings? Or do we go back into our homes and ignore Him until Sunday rolls around again?  Are we 'watching?' Jesus said specifically, Watch! Are we watching?

Next, they offered gifts. In each of these gifts they acknowledged Jesus not only as King, but as priest, and as Messiah. They offered gold, a standard gift for a King. They offered frankincense, an offering for one of the priests to God. They offered him Myrrh, a burial ointment.   They acknowledged Him as who He was, and offered it up to Him.

Do we offer ourselves up to God? Acknowledging Him as King, Priest, and Savior? Or do we only acknowledge part of that? Do we realize that as our King He is the rule and guide of our faith? That obedience to His word is necessary? Or do we only see Him as the priest, who did the sacrifice for us, who officiates the offering that clears us of sin? Or do we only see Him as savior, the man who died in on the cross? We as Christians need to acknowledge Him as all three. Both the victim and the victor. Both the King and the servant.

What are some ways that we can offer our lives to Christ as a gift? What can we do to show that we acknowledge Him as our King? What can we do to show that we acknowledge Him as our Priest? What can we do to show we acknowledge Him as the Savior?

In Christ,

1. Mathew 2:11