7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
When I was 6 years old I was in a nativity play and I had one of the key roles, I was one of the three wise kings. I still have a photograph of myself holding a pillow with treasure on it, I was wearing a crown and I was wrapped up in my father’s dressing gown to look like a king in a great robe. I remember taking my role in the play seriously and I remember being careful to carry my treasure.
It is interesting to me, as an adult, to reflect on this experience and the importance of telling and teaching stories from the bible to children and also to adults. It was particularly significant that baby Jesus was visited by the Magi (Wise Men) and that the Magi acknowledged Him as the King, even as an infant. The gifts that they brought also symbolised that Jesus was a King. Gold, a precious metal, Frankincense an expensive perfume and Myrrh an anointing oil were gifts appropriate for a King. It was foretold in Isaiah 60:6 that these gifts were to be brought to praise the Lord. To me these gifts were very tangible expressions of blessings the Magi desired to bestow on baby Jesus.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that you sent your Son to be part of our world. Thank you for the Magi that journeyed a vast distance to visit Jesus and bestow appropriate praise and gifts to Him. Thank you for giving us the power of this story to be encouraged that your Son was and always will be the true King. Remind us to tell stories from the bible. Remind us to praise those who went before us and their great actions in service of faith. Amen
Written by Susannah Ware