EM/Youth

Matthew 2:9-11, The Gifts of the Magi

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작성자 카마리오한인연합감리교회 작성일24-01-16 16:02 조회746회 댓글0건

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The Gifts of the Magi

2023-1224, Matthew 2:9-11

 

 

Do you recall the times when you used to sing carols on Christmas Eve? On Christmas Eve, our church school would host a Christmas performance, and students would visit the homes of church members from 1 to 2 in the morning. In return, the members would generously prepare gifts and food. Teams would go around the village singing carols, collecting gifts, and later serving the children with them in the morning.

 

The joy of receiving gifts at church on Christmas morning was immense for the children, and even the anticipation was enjoyable. Christmas gifts makes everyone delightful regardless of age. The birth of Jesus Christ is a gift to all of usa historical event that signifies grace for humanity. Whether young or old, acknowledging the redemption brought by the Lord's sacrifice is a grace for all. If any of us can bring comfort to those struggling and make their lives better, it would be an immense grace. The unfolding of God's plan for salvation initially was misunderstood by people, leading to the crucifixion of Jesus and the persecution of saints. However, as time passed, people came to understand the grace of God's salvation, and the holy celebration of Christmas began.

 

Jesus Christ was crucified during the Jewish Passover, and while the timing of his birth lacks a clear historical record, it was proclaimed more than 300 years later. Despite the division between Western (12/25) and Eastern Orthodox (1/7) churches based on different calendar systems, we commemorate 12/25 as a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Considering the weather in Jerusalem could Dec., around 44-60°F, it would not have been easy for shepherds to tend to their flocks at night.

 

Therefore, we honor this day as a precious day representing the grace of the Lord's incarnation rather than the specific date. We believe that God's most precious and gracious gift to humanity is the gift of salvation. Confessing that we have received the gift of salvation through His grace is an essential part of our faith. Moreover, having received this gracious gift from the Lord, we also express our commitment to offer gifts in return.

 

So, what kind of gift can we offer to the Lord? The example of the wise men presenting three gifts

in Matthew 2 serves as a good model.

(1) Gold: The wise men presented gold, a precious gift for the infant Jesus. Similarly, believers can offer something more precious than goldfaith (1 Peter 1:7). Jesus was delighted when people had faith, praising commendable faith (Matthew 8:10) and confessing it is a valuable gift. Believers are people who live by faith (Romans 1:17). Offering a life of faith, whether in difficult or comfortable times, is the first gift we can present to Jesus.

 

(2) Frankincense: One of the wise men presented frankincense, symbolizing Jesus as a healer and restorer similar to a priest. Reflecting on the meaning of frankincense, we can also extend a fragrant touch of love, healing, and restoration to others. Following Jesus' parable in Matthew 25 about doing even the smallest acts of kindness, we can share our hearts and sincerity to bring healing and restoration to those in need.

 

(3) Myrrh: Myrrh is a preservative medicinal substance. Like myrrh, believers can offer another gift: actively participating in building a healthy, vibrant community of faith. Being the salt and light of the world (Matthew 5:13-14), we can contribute to establishing strong families and nurturing our faith community. It involves working to keep our faith community healthy and advancing together, preventing it from succumbing to the world's challenges.

 

Gathering here today, we aim to bring joy to the heart of God through our Christmas gifts. The world today faces the cold winds of war, disasters, and confusion. What is need is the warm gifts of peace and hope. We must prepare our Christmas gifts. There are gifts to offer to God and gifts to share with people around us. Let's offer our true faith, love, and distinctive actions as gifts to Jesus. Also, let's be saints who share the gifts of gracious love and hope abundantly with the world this week and beyond..


(Rev. Lee) 



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