Thursday, December 6, 2007

Wishlists (Part 2)

Yesterday I mentioned that the "Wise Men" who sought out Jesus, brought gifts other than gold, frankincense and Myrrh. They brought gifts that we can still give today. They gave the gifts of Hope, Time and Worship. When everyone else saw a dark night sky, this small band of brothers saw the Light. The sight of the star ignited a desire and a hope in their hearts. When night comes to your world, what do you see? The darkness or the stars? Hopelessness or hopefulness? If, during this festive season your heart has been overshadowed by the darkness of loneliness or grief or disappointment, look for the light that only He can give. "I am the Light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the Light of life." (John 8: 12)

And while you're giving, give God your time. The Bible gives us precious little information about the journey of the wise men or Magi (monarchs) as Matthews Gospel refers to them. So what do we know about them? We know that they came from the East. We know that they got word that a special 'King' had been born. We know that they immediately embarked on a journey, following a guiding star that took them to the King they sought. We know that by the time they arrived, Jesus was no longer in a manger but in a house and He was no longer a baby but a child (Matthew 2: 9 - 11). What don't we know? We don't know where they specifically came from. We don't know how long or how far they traveled. This leads us to conclude that, the one guarantee that we do have is that they devoted themselves to seeking the Savior. So can you. "...You will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 4: 29)

It's important for us to understand some things about these wise men. It's probable that they were wealthy, or how else could they have embarked on an extended journey and still have gifts to give at the end? It's likely that they were men of some influence, or how could they have commanded Herod's attention and an audience with him? It's almost certain that they were men of great intellect, or how else could they navigated across, possibly thousands of miles of desert terrain following a star to a precise location? So, potentially these were men of wealth, influence and intellect. What did they do when they saw Jesus? "...Fell down and worshipped Him." (Matthew 2: 11)

The gifts of hope, time and worship. Three gifts on God's wishlist. Three gifts wise men (and women) still give.