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
I remember the first year my brother asked my dad to take him Christmas shopping because he wanted to buy gifts for everyone. As he perused the aisles of the local dollar store, he picked out the perfect gift for each of us. A candle for his mother to help her relax; a wrench for his dad to help him fix things; fake nails for his sister who was constantly in trouble for nail biting; colorful hairbands for his fashionista sister; and lastly a groucho glasses mask for his oldest sister. I cannot tell you what other presents I received that year, but I will always remember opening my groucho glasses mask and the immediate eruption of communal laughter. When questioned about why he picked that out, he simply stated that “you like to laugh.” My family still talks about that Christmas our brother picked out dollar store gifts that so perfectly embodied each of us.
We have all had that moment when we received a gift that was so perfect it brought an ear-to-ear smile or maybe even tears. (Better yet is being the one to give that kind of a gift!) Gift giving is a tradition that has gone on for ages, and it is referenced many times in the Bible. A good gift not only brings joy to the giver and receiver, but a really good gift has a symbolic meaning that goes beyond the actual gift itself. In order to give such a special gift, one must be observant and have a deep understanding of the person they are gifting.
I like to envision myself as a Wise (Wo)-Man in the Christmas story. I thoroughly enjoy thinking about gifts and searching to find that perfect and meaningful gift for someone. The Wise Men observed all the signs and had a true understanding of exactly who Jesus is. This is very clearly seen in the gifts they presented to him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They did not offer up one of Amazon’s top age-appropriate gifts of the season; instead, they brought gifts appropriate for a King!
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the most perfect gift of your Son, Jesus Christ. I pray that, as we all celebrate the Christmas season, we do not get unfocused by all of the worldly distractions during this time. Help us to truly observe and connect with others in such a way that we open our understanding of them. Help us to love one another as You have loved us. Amen.
About the Contributor
Hannah Zimmerman has been a member of First Presbyterian for 3 years, currently serves on the Diaconate, serves as a coordinator for SPIHN, and serves on the Welcome Committee. She is married to Matthew Zimmerman.