“Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:8-11)
Friends, we are here — it is the fourth Advent Sunday now.
These wise men finally find their way to Jesus, who is a young Child now, definitely not the little babe we knew from before. But friend, let us stop here and let this scene sink in: this young Child less than 2 years old, is mentioned before His mother. These wise men, they notice Jesus first — something that is completely against the custom of the day and yet, fitting for situation, for they knew they had now seen their Messiah. In that first moment, nothing else mattered for they were finally here, for they had finally arrived and seen the Son of God.
Yet, so fitting for the fourth Advent Sunday and for the Christmas so close now — are the gifts that the Magi bring.
Before the wise men give their gifts, they bring their hearts to Jesus.
Beloved, may we do just the same this Christmas — knowing that gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh will not matter if our hearts are not bowed first. If our knees are not bended first. Because gift giving always comes from the outflow of grace, a heart that rejoices at the sight of her Savior amidst the darkness and brokenness of the world.
When our hearts are bowed down before our Lord and King, we experience the most amazing miracle of all — that the gifts we bring to Him, now have eternal significance and purpose.
Beloved, let us do this together today, just like the Magi: let us bring our hearts to our Lord, bowing down low and worship Him with our hands raised high.