The Gifts We Bring

gifts hero 1000

Advent 2018

The magi of the Christmas story brought three gifts to the infant Jesus: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Tradition has long ascribed symbolic meaning to these gifts: gold symbolizes Jesus's royalty, frankincense, his divinity, and myrrh, his mortality. This series delves into these three gifts, examines the significance of these three aspects of Jesus's nature, and urges us to think seriously about what gifts we ourselves bring to the Christ child.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Gifts We Bring (Part 1)

The gift of gold from the magi to Jesus symbolizes his role as king, but we know he comes as a different sort of king than anyone in the first century—or today, for that matter—expects. What does it mean for us to name Jesus our king?

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Gifts We Bring (Part 2)

The second gift of the magi to Jesus was Frankincense, symbolizing his divinity. When we think of Jesus as divine, we often take that to mean that the human Jesus was god-like—but what if we have it the wrong way around? What if it means that God is like Jesus?

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Gifts We Bring (Part 3)

Christians have always tended to keep the humanity of Jesus at arm’s length. We treat his human nature as a problem around which we have to tiptoe, even as we make full-throated affirmations of his divinity. But the incarnation—God taking on human flesh—is only meaningful if God experiences life as one of us.

Sunday, December 24, 2018

The Gifts We Bring (Part 4)

The magi brought three gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh—to present to the child to whom the star directed them, but they gave much more than just those gifts. Their journey required them to make a complete sacrifice for the sake of Jesus, and they expected nothing in return. At Christmas, we remember their sacrifice and recommit ourselves to offer all that we are to Emmanuel.