And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11
Maybe it was the long journey—the swapping planes three times, the twelve-hour difference, the exhaustion mingled with the excitement of coming home. Or maybe it was because it was February now, and Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Day, and Christmas had passed without much notice on a dusty base in Afghanistan. At any rate, when my daughter, Clara, woke me early that morning and asked me if I was ready to open presents, I didn’t know what she was talking about. What presents?
My wife, Melanie, nudged me out of bed and I followed dutifully into the living room, still confused, until I spied a few packages wrapped in shining paper by the fireplace. The stockings, Christmas tree, and decorations had long since been taken down, and I was struck by how out of place these presents seemed.
Looking back, I can’t remember a single gift that I opened that morning. Instead I remember my almost two-year-old toddling across the floor in her fuzzy, footed pajamas, dragging the presents as she came. I remember the warmth of homecoming, of a journey’s end, of long-awaited hugs.
It makes me wonder. After their long and difficult journey, I wonder what the Magi thought about this little boy Jesus and his mother Mary? I wonder if their sparkling gifts stood out in the drab little house, or if they left feeling they had received the greater gift. Years later, I wonder if they could even remember what they brought, treasuring instead their time with the Baby King.
Prayer: Mighty God, watch over all our troops who are serving far from home. Protect them as they do this difficult work, and grant them peace.
About the Contributor
Jason Moore is now the pastor at Second Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg, and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He and his wife, Melanie, have two children, Clara and Benjamin. FPC is grateful for the gift of Jason’s ministry.