SUNDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2010
GIFT SPEAK VOLUMES OF YOUR LOVE
Matthew 2V11: “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of Gold and of incense and of Myrrh”. (NIV)
The account given above by the Gospel writer in Matthew is one that needs to touch the hearts of followers of Christ. Just a day after the birth of the Saviour of the world, three wise men from the East paid a historic visit to the born king. The persons did not just come but came to worship Him and to offer their costly gifts. “Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of Gold and of incense and of Myrrh.”
Gold is the gift for a King; Seneca tells us that in Parthia it was the custom that no one could even approach the king without a gift. And gold, the king of metals, is the fit gift for a king of men.
So then Jesus was “the man born to be king”. But he was to reign, not by force, but by love; and he was to rule over men’s hearts, not from a throne, but from a cross.
Frankincense is the gift for a Priest. It was in the temple worship and at the temple sacrifices; the sweet perfume of Frankincense was used. The function of the Priest is to open the way to God for men. And that is what Jesus has come to do. To open the way to God and to make it possible for men to enter into the very presence of God.
Myrrh is the gift for one who is to die. Myrrh was used to embalm the bodies of the dead. Jesus came into the world to live for men, and, in the end, to die for men. He came to give for men his life and his death.
Many Bible commentators agree that the gifts given reflected what true Christians today should be doing to their fellow Christian brothers and sisters.
Incidentally, today is Boxing Day. In the Christendom, believers are encouraged to exchange gifts and truly share their love. This love should know no boundary. Such things today are shared: cards, flowers, dresses, wrist watches, shoes, even cars to show the extent of one’s love to the other. Attention is also paid to the less privileged, downtrodden and the destitutes. Jesus had already observed the need to take care of the less privileged. “I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”Mtt. 25:36-40.
Remember the type of gifts we share today will speak volumes of our love for one another. There is need therefore to place a caution that this time is not a time of quarrelling or fighting.
We are saddened recently to hear that a man had abandoned his matrimonial home (wife and children) for fear of his wife who callously bullied him and so to live to tell his story, he had to run according to him “for his dear life” what a shame!
This season calls for sober reflection and a close walk with God. Things that will make us get closer to God should be of paramount importance. The three wise men had time to worship and bow down to the new born king. As a mark of devotion, they brought their costly gifts. What can we offer unto the new king? Remember, your gift will speak volumes of your love.
Think about this: “God must love the poor for He made so many of them” (William Barclay).
Ven. Barr. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,