The Epiphany of Our Lord
January 6, 2019
A Gift for the Wise Men
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These were the gifts that the Magi brought from the East to present to Christ. But the most important Gift given in that house in Bethlehem was Christ Himself.
This King was God's gift to the world. This Baby Boy came to offer Himself as the sacrifice that would restore humanity from evil to righteousness. By faith in this Gift, this Immanuel, we are no longer God's enemies; we are now His children.
So the gifts the Magi gave to the Gift were entirely appropriate, perhaps more fitting that they realized at the time.
The gold is always a good gift for any king and this treasure doubtless paid for the family's escape from Herod's murderous clutches down to Egypt.
The frankincense reminds us of Jesus' deity—using incense was a key part of the worship in the Lord's Temple. The smoke went up to heaven, symbolizing the prayers of God's people, that would be answered in this promised Child.
The myrrh pointed ahead to Jesus' sacrifice on the cross that killed Him. Myrrh was used as a painkiller and was mixed with wine and offered to Jesus on the cross, which He refused to drink.
And upon His death myrrh was used, along with aloe, to wrap His dead body in linen, before being placed in the new tomb, which in three more days would empty again.
Christ is the King of kings and the Answer to our prayers and the One who died to save us.
All of this makes Him the Gift for the Magi and for the whole world. He was and is and ever shall be for us.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.