“Hey, were you born in a barn?” I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard that growing up. Leaving doors open was a major taboo in my upbringing. But reckon Mary ever said that to Jesus? The stable and manger are prominent features in the most important event in human history. God demonstrated His love for common man by introducing His Son in the strangest environment; not a place of privilege or prominence, but a place obscure and unexpected.
We sing songs like “Away in a Manger, “Silent Night,” and “What Child Is This” to celebrate the coming of Jesus to earth – born a child, born of a virgin. But are we guilty of leaving Him in the manger and never letting Him grow up in our lives. I think the inclusion of the Magi in the Christmas narrative reminds us of the reason the Baby was born.
We are not sure how many Magi there were, who they were, or exactly where they were from, but we are sure that they came from a great distance to worship Jesus. And, in an act of true worship, they brought gifts. You see, worship is not something we experience, it is something we give. Worship is not singing songs, feeling spiritual goose bumps, and following a well designed order of service. Worship is what we GIVE JESUS. Worship can involve songs, prayers, sermons, offerings, and such if those activities are heartfelt means we use to ascribe to Him the honor and glory He deserves. But they are just that – means, not ends in themselves.
The particular gifts the Magi brought Jesus are significant as well. They brought Him gold which symbolized His royal position as King of Kings. While I doubt they fully recognized the spiritual nature of His kingdom, they nevertheless recognize His sovereignty and gave gifts that promised their allegiance to Him. We get the Baby out of the manger and give Him the gift of Kingship when we submit to His rule in our lives.
They also brought frankincense which symbolized His spiritual position as Lord. Frankincense was a fragrant powder used in worship. The Magi recognized that this Baby was unlike any other and was the One ultimately worthy of worship. We get the Baby out of the manger and give Him the gift of Lordship when we make Him the ultimate pursuit of our lives.
Additionally they brought a most unusual gift for a baby – a burial spice called myrrh. Even at His birth, the Bible foreshadowed His sacrificial death. We get the Baby out of the manger and give Him the gift of our lives when we recognize His place as Redeemer, trust Him as our Savior, and share the good news of salvation with anyone we get the opportunity.
Don’t you think it’s time for Jesus to grow up in your life? This Christmas, allow Jesus to get out of the manger and take His rightful place on the throne of your life. Recognize His Lordship and make Him the passionate pursuit of your life.To all my readers, thank you for the blessings of your comments and suggestions during this year. You have made it a pleasure to share my spiritual journey with you. I wish you all a blessed and most precious Christmas.