What can I give him?

Three Wise MenAnd so it’s that time of year again! Advent has begun, and as the Church enters that long and sombre period of waiting for the coming Messiah, we frantically crack-on with our Christmas shopping! Christmas is all about the giving of gifts. Our high street shop windows and television advertisements are all to keen to remind us of this as we enter December. At Christmas we celebrate the most wonderful and precious gift of the baby Jesus – the Messiah and God made flesh. Jesus is God’s great gift to a humankind who had turned away and lost sight of Him. In Jesus we meet the reality of a God who loved his creation so much that he would gift and sacrifice that which was dearest to him so that we might be saved. That is the great joy of Christmas and the reason for all our festive celebrations.

But tucked away on the 6th January, when we’re stuffed full of Turkey and perhaps fed up of all the festive cheer, the church celebrates one of my favourite feast days of the year – Epiphany! The Epiphany is when we mark the visit of the Magi to the young Jesus. The story of the Magi’s visit is well known and an event that is often thrown into your standard nativity play, but realistically this did not take place until a couple of years after the events of Christmas Day. It’s marked and remembered every year as a special event because the Magi were the first Gentiles (non-Israelites) to visit Jesus and honour him as the Messiah and so, as well as the Magi’s visit, the feast also celebrates the realisation (‘the epiphany’) of Jesus Christ as Messiah and Son of God by the many other nations and peoples of the globe. In Jesus, God’s salvation plan is opened up beyond the House of Israel to all the people of the world.

The Magi’s recognition of just who and how special Jesus was is seen within the gifts they brought him; Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. Gold for the King of Kings, Frankincense for a High Priest and Myrrh, an embalming oil, for a man whose death would one day prove highly significant. As we journey through Advent and approach the season of Christmas, it’s the perfect time to reflect upon the question of who we think Jesus is and what he means to us. Is it all just a nice story, represented each year in our children’s nativity plays? Is he simply a great moral teacher who gave us good advice on how to live our lives? Or is he our Saviour, in whom we put all our faith and trust?

As we prepare our Christian celebrations and buy those gifts for our nearest and dearest this Advent season, let us reflect upon just who Jesus is to us, and what gift we can offer him. Would there be a gift, like those of the Magi, that perfectly sums up for us who we believe him to be and what he means to us? And as we join in with the singing of the traditional Christmas carols this season, can we stand by the words so beautifully expressed in the final verse of the carol ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ and give our Lord what we can and that which he desires most – our heart.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man
I would do my part;
Yet what I can, I give Him,
Give my heart.

Rev’d Emily Davis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.