Times are a changing--and my gift giving along with it. I still delight in giving the little ones their heart's desire, but have found the gift of green to bring smiles to my big ones. Internet shopping and shipping to my door has made this time of the year much easier. I still always make a foray into the retail mecca of Christmas shopping-just to enjoy the ambiance and remember I am under no crisis of unfulfilled wants. It can be quite delightful to sip a warm drink while eating a Christmas cookie as the shoppers whirl by on a frantic mission to complete their annual gift pilgrimage.
While thinking over the annual Christmas gift giving frenzy, I reflected back to the first Christmas gifts. Gold, Frankincense and myrrh were brought by the Three Wise Men--kings from afar. As I have spent time reading and pondering---WHY? these three items, I came away with one certainty---they were very valuable. While we are not even sure if there were three kings (assumed because of three gifts), scholars have a plethera of theories as to the symbolism of the three expensive gifts. As I read all the theories, I came away with one fact---rich men gave rich gifts to the new born king, but they also worshiped Him while giving the gifts.
Contrast this to the shepherds--who seemed to have come empty handed. Shepherds were not on the top of the economic heap during the time of Jesus, and since they came straight from the fields probably had no more than a lamb at best to offer. Yet they came straight away--they came and worshiped the New Born King. They left their fields--compelled to see this wonder of all wonders---the Messiah promised long ago. Their gift was their presence and their worship as they stood in awe of God's fulfillment of His Word---The Word Made Flesh.
Yes, the rich men came and brought rich gifts---but was that any better than the poor man bringing himself and offering his praise with no gift? I think not--in fact I think more of the gift of the poor man--the gift of their time and presence on that first Christmas night. Their need to see for themselves what the heavenly angels had proclaimed and then to fall on their knees in wonder and awe.
All to say---do not become overly consumed with finding the perfect gift--the perfect gift is the offering of yourself--in some form or fashion--the giving of your time, talent, and attention is always the most wonderful gift. What gift can you give Jesus---the One who has it all---the gift of yourself.