Sparta Baptist Church

Advent Day 19

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“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?”  Matthew 2:2

I attended a sweet baby shower for a first-time mom that turned into one of the funniest events ever because it quickly became clear that this new mom had not a clue what to do with most of the gifts.  Every time she opened one that contained anything other than clothing, her eyes grew large, and she exclaimed, “I love it!  What do I do with it?”

I kind of wonder whether Mary felt the same way.  Imagine her surprise as the wise men handed her frankincense and myrrh.  She might have glanced at her swaddled baby and thought a few nice gowns would have been a bit more helpful.

The gifts the magi brought were not fit for a baby; they were fit for a king.

 You see, the magi came looking for a baby who was born a king.  Not the son of a king, but a king himself.  Jesus was not waiting to be crowned.  He came to earth already ruling. The wise men recognized that, and we should, too.

The gifts of the magi reflected the one to whom they were given.  Gold reminds us that Jesus was royal, he was worthy. Frankincense brings to mind sacrifices burning before the Lord and points to our Great High Priest.  Myrrh is bitter and foreshadowed our Savior’s suffering.

Worship: Where others saw a baby, the magi saw a king.  They gave their gifts accordingly.  What about you?  How do you see Christ?  What can you give him that is worthy of who he is?   Read “In the Bleak Mid-Winter,” a poem by Christina Rossetti, and find the answer.  Then offer your heart to God.

Family Focus:  Perhaps your family has never participated in a worship service that includes the use of incense and doesn’t know much about it.  Read Exodus 30:1-10 to learn about the altar of incense that was in the tabernacle then turn to Revelation 5:8 and see that incense is still before the Lord…. it’s our prayers!  Pray like David in Psalm 141:2, “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.”