This is Thanksgiving week and I love the preparations for the day but mainly I love it because it signals the start of the Christmas season! My tree generally goes up on Thanksgiving evening but this year my son-in-law has already started bringing all the decorations up from their storage! I was looking at the little Nativity scene that we have and making sure all the components are there and everything seems to check out. It has the usual baby Jesus with Mary and Joseph; there is hay in the manger and a few animals standing there. What have I left out? Oh, the Wise men! Yes the Magi are represented there at the manger with their gifts for the baby who they found by following the Star, Bethlehem’s Star.
Although we really don’t know how many men there were, because there are three gifts, gold, myrrh, and frankincense, mentioned, we assume it was three Kings that brought them. The specific mentioning of what these three gifts were implies that their substance is important; much more important than the number or names of the ones presenting them. Gold is a gift for a King, symbolizing Jesus’ kingship. Frankincense is incense used by priests, thus symbolizing Jesus’ priesthood. Myrrh is used in embalming the dead, which prophetically signifies that Jesus was born to die. Herod had heard of the new-born “King” and decided that in order to protect his throne he would call for the death of all male babies two years of age and under. The angel of the Lord warned Joseph of this in a dream and they left immediately for the land of Egypt. Jesus was the Son of God, a child of prophecy who was worshipped, followed, lauded; then beaten, scorned and finally crucified. From the Throne room of the Creator, to burial in a borrowed grave, all for the sake of being obedient to the Father and for the salvation of our sin.
Do you ever wonder if your life has a specific purpose? Have you tried to “find” yourself and feel that you have failed? Why? Is it because you are having problems, people like you today and hate you tomorrow? Is it because no one listens to what you say or pays attention to your ideas? Is it because you have been made fun of, scorned for your beliefs? Think about it, everything I just mentioned actually happened to Jesus, and we already know that He was chosen from the foundation of the world, John 17:24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Revelation 13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Now ask yourself the question, “What makes me and my calling so special that I don’t have to suffer some things in this world?” What have you given up for the greater good of anyone around you? Sometimes we have the mentality that if we are having a hard time then there must be something wrong with us. Couldn’t it be that there is something RIGHT with your life and the Tempter of your soul is trying to discourage you to the point that you quit? What if Jesus had given up when people were going to stone Him, or didn’t understand his Parables, and why wouldn’t He really quit when in the Garden he was confronted by one of his own “peeps” and betrayed by a kiss?
Hebrews 13:5-6 Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?
There is no greater sacrifice than to die, not just for those you love, but also for those who would crucify you.
Now that you have had your “Bible lesson” get ready for Thanksgiving and I hope I am the first to say Merry Christmas!