I’m a big fan of Christmas. I love everything about it. I love the meaning of Christmas, the joy, the music, the family gatherings and decorations, everything about it!
And while today, there may be an overemphasis promoted by retailers and advertisers to buy and spend during the Christmas season, we can’t allow their motives to turn us into “Ebenezer Scrooges.”
In the proper context, giving is a transformative act. As we read through the Christmas story, we discover how giving is an integral part of this celebration. It’s also an essential part of our spiritual DNA.
So after the Wisemen leave Jerusalem, they again see the star that guided their journey to this point and now leads them to where Joseph, Mary, and Jesus reside. When they arrive at the new home and see Jesus with His mother, they immediately worship Him!
Worship is the appropriate action when entering God’s presence. Jesus’ kingship was not conferred upon Him at His death but His birth. He was born the King of all kings, and the Wisemen gave Him the fullest amount of praise they knew how.
Worship is not only the response for what God has done or is doing or has promised to do for us but because of who He is. He is Immanuel God with us!
This means that I worship Him even when I’m not feeling it, or when nothing is going right, or when I don’t like the song. Worship is not an emotional response. It’s a proportionate response to who God is!
To expand on their act of worship, it says that they gave Him gifts. I don’t believe they came prepared with gifts. I know Christmas carols say how they came bearing gifts, but I believe this was a spontaneous response, judging by what the scriptures say and what they don’t say.
Matthew doesn’t expand at all on the types of gifts given. He doesn’t describe them as gifts given to royalty as if they were a predetermined act. Instead, the text says, “then opening their treasures, they offered him gifts…”
As they recognized they were in the presence of a great King, their inclination was to give. So spontaneously, they reach into their sacks, and they pull out the best and most expensive thing they had and give to Jesus.
They didn’t give what they could live without or what was leftover. They gave their best. These items were likely the resources used to pay for their travels. Giving is a sacrifice.
Generally speaking, when you give to God your time, resources, and talents and don’t feel the sacrifice of giving, you may not be giving your all. So, how does your giving feel?
In the context of giving, as David prepared to make a sacrifice to God, someone offered to give him everything he needed to make the appropriate sacrifices, without cost, but David refused and said, “I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:24
Jesus is trustworthy of our sacrifice. Giving to God; yields the best return on investment than giving to anything else.
- Giving recognizes God’s proper place in our life, as first.
- Giving confirms that it all belongs to God. I’m just managing His resources.
- Giving declares that God is my portion and provider, and I trust Him.
And when we give, we display God’s glory because God is a giver. Giving is part of His nature and attributes.
Just as the Wisemen followed the signs that led them to Jesus, today, as followers of Jesus, our worship and giving identify us as God’s people and declare that our trust is in Him!