For the past two weeks, our youth class explored the significance behind the last two gifts that were gifted to baby Jesus by the Magi.
The gift of Frankincense
The gifting of Frankincense represented that the Magi were prepared to bring worship to baby Jesus, as King, as God. Our class did some scripture digging for where Frankincense was mentioned in the Bible, and we quickly realized that it was used in temples and tabernacles to prepare and bring worship to God and thus was a common component of worship. As such, when the Magi brought forth Frankincense, they did so with the intention to bring worship to Him. From this gift, we learn that we too should be driven to worship God just in the same way that the Magi were driven to see Baby Jesus and to worship Him by travelling a very long distance. Although we may not have Frankincense to offer, we are able to give ourselves instead by serving him, obeying him and living humbly. We looked up a passage that teaches us how we can offer ourselves up to God as a way of bringing Him worship:
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Humble Service in the Body of Christ
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
The gift of Myrrh:
The gifting of Myrrh represented that the Magi acknowledged the purpose for why God had sent Jesus to us. Myrrh had several uses as we learned through scripture digging of various passages. For instance, on one occasion, a woman who anticipated His death anointed Jesus with a similar mixture of Myrrh perfume. In another instance, while hanging on the cross, Jesus is again offered myrrh mixed with wine as a drink. Both times, this myrrh concoction is mentioned in the narrative about Jesus’ death. Therefore, when the Magi brought myrrh to Jesus when He was young, they were acknowledging that He would be a sacrifice. What does this mean to us? We asked each of us how we would think if we were told that our sole mission in life was to die in someone else’s place. Jesus did not just offer His life to us at the cross. Throughout his whole life and during his ministry, He lived a sacrificial life. Despite being a King, a God, He came to earth in a stable. He lived his life humbly, serving others, loving others and did not live a self-indulgent life. In this verse, we are taught how Jesus lived:
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
If Jesus was sacrificial in coming to earth, serving those whom He had created, and ultimately dying in our place, what then should our lives be like? We need to mark this time and moment to commit ourselves to God, to live a sacrificial life as well and be children of God that reflects His image.
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