I have a niece who is a perfect gift giver. Every time you open a gift from her or see someone else open a gift from her, you think, “Wow! that’s perfect!” It’s truly mind-blowing to watch someone give a perfect gift every single time.
I, on the other hand, am a very practical person. When I attend a baby shower, I bring diapers. That is a fabulous gift because no matter what happens next you will need diapers. When I arrive at a wedding, I bring a Target gift card. I see you rolling your eyes but I’m telling you this is a perfectly good gift. I have been known to give oranges at Christmas with a few nuts. You would eat oranges, if I gave them to you. But I’m not going to because I can sense your attitude right about now. I have two sons 27 and 29, it’s been 3 or 4 years since I’ve given them gifts because they can buy their own shaving cream. You can imagine how my perfect-gift-giving-niece feels about a pair of socks and a razor from me. My friends and family really prefer that I not bring a gift — my gifts say things to them that they just don’t want to hear.
This year I was looking at the piece of the Christmas story where the Magi bring gifts to the King (Matthew 2: 11)— Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. Gold is precious, rare, valuable — a perfect gift for royalty. Frankincense, at that time, was an incense that was made and burned only in the Temple. It was set apart for the divine. (Now we know it to be incredibly useful for all kinds of healing.) Myrrh was used as a purifier for preparation, either for burial or queendom. (Four hundred years earlier, Esther spent 12 months using myrrh, in order to prepare for becoming the Queen.) Whichever way you use it, it points toward destiny.
The Magi are giving us some instruction in their gift giving — to be a gift to the King, show up as gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Gold - Royalty
Many of us have been trained to think like a pauper. We assume the worst, believe we’re nothing, dwell on what we’re not. Royalty recognizes their authority, power, distinction and operates in it. Embrace royalty. Throw off the limitations we carry around with us that sound like, “There’s not enough time, resources, creativity, etc.” and embrace that we have access to the King of Kings. It will change how we see things. When our perspective shifts, everything shifts.
Frankincense - Chosen
Often our day is spent thinking about the raw deal we’ve been handed or the way in which we’ve been overlooked or how we don’t belong. We have been selected, picked, favored, settled on by the King of Kings. Understand we are chosen. When we begin to believe who we are (chosen), we start to show up differently (more fragrant with the capacity for healing).
Myrrh - Destined
Telling ourselves we are insignificant or believing others when they tell us that, leaves us feeling purposeless. Recognize we have a destiny. When we don’t have a problem knowing whose we are (the King’s Royal son or daughter), and who we are (the chosen, picked one), we can focus on making sure others catch the revelation of why they exist. “A man who understands his own destiny can draw it out of others,” Proverbs 20:5.
You are the gift to the King — a gift of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. Merry Christmas!