When I was kid a long, long, long time ago in a state far, far, far away, everyone knew that Christmas was the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Yes, we had Santa and presents and a tree, but the main focus was still on Christ.
Several centuries later, secular commercialism has taken over and fewer Americans know what Christmas is all about. Some don’t even have a clue that it all started with the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Many who do, have little other knowledge like where was Jesus born, who were the three wise men and what did they bring as gifts.
How much do you know about the true meaning Christmas? Do you know why Jesus was born in Bethlehem? I would have been very curious to hear how those few who properly identified the gifts the wise men brought, responded to the question of why those three gifts. You see, as our nation drifts further and further away from its Christian roots, we are also drifting away from the real meaning of Christmas.
Frankincense was an oil commonly used to anoint the crowning of a king. The gold was a common tribute to kings and rulers. But the myrrh is the gift that confused many. It was a strong perfume that was commonly used on the dead to offset the smell of death, which made it an odd gift to present to a newborn. The wise man or king who brought the myrrh knew that the baby they were honoring would end up sacrificing his life and suffering the taste of death that we all must experience. Christmas is not just a celebration of Jesus’ birth, but a window to His future death on the cross.
As you gather with your family and friends this Christmas season, please take time to read the account of Jesus birth in the Book of Matthew as it is the only one that mentions the Magi and their gifts. Take the time to explain the importance of their visit and what their gifts were and why they gave those specific gifts. And don’t forget to link in Christ’s future death on the cross for OUR sins. It will add so much meaning and richness to your holiday if you do.