We recently observed Epiphany which celebrates the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, represented by the Magi. If you remember the story, these wise men from the East came bringing gifts.
“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. ” Matthew 2:11
Reading this as part of my devotions made me remember a poem by Christina Rossetti:
“What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part,–
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.”
Then I wondered, how about each of us? What can we give Him? Here’s a quote by John Ellerton ( English clergyman and hymnodist) that expresses it well.
“Give yourselves anew to God and to God’s service, and He will give you the desire and the power to open your treasures; to give to Him, it may be wealth, it may be time, it may be personal service, it may be life itself. In His store there is a place for all, for the tears of the penitent, the barley loaves of the child, the two mites of the widow, the savings of the Philippians’ ‘deep poverty’, as well as for Mary’s ointment, for the land of Barnabas, for the gold and incense and myrrh of these Eastern sages. And if the vision of Christ be before his eyes, and the love of Christ be in his heart, the man of wealth will give his large offering, the man of learning his dear-bought knowledge, the man of business his hard-earned leisure, for the glory of God, for the benefit of his fellow-men, for the Church or for the poor; to feed the hungry, or to teach the ignorant, to help the struggling, or to guide the erring; and each gift will be welcomed by Him who gave Himself for us all, and who asks in return for ourselves as a living sacrifice.”
This is a season of giving, and we all have something to give. It’s a good time to think about our spiritual and material gifts and then decide what we can give back to Jesus who gave everything for us.
For more about the magi see these posts:
Follow the Star
Journey of the Magi by T.S.Eliot
Amahl and the Night Visitors