The wise men came to see Christ and to worship him. And to present him with gifts: gold and frankincense and myrrh. It’s from the feast of the Epiphany that we derive our custom of giving gifts at Christmas. It’s still the practice in some countries to give gifts on Epiphany, January 6, rather than on Christmas Day. But whether it’s January 6 or December 25, the giving of gifts to other people is certainly a beautiful custom that grows out of the Christian teaching to love one another.
As we think about this wonderful Gospel account of the wise men, the question we need to ask ourselves is this: what gift do I offer to Jesus Christ? What gift can I give him that acknowledges the glory of his being among us and with me and that recognizes who he is in my life?
In the poem by Christina Rossetti that is a favorite Christmas hymn, “In the Bleak Midwinter,” the final stanza asks:
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.
I will give Jesus Christ my heart. That is what Jesus wants most from each one of us. He wants that most precious and costly thing that we have, which is our love, our devotion, and our commitment.