Will You Worship Jesus This Christmas? By Babatunde Olugboji
Next Saturday is Christmas, a time to remember the spirit of Christmas, a story which started over 2000 years ago in the town of Nazareth where the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would have a son.
Jesus would be God’s own son and His kingdom would never end. At that time, the area that Mary and Joseph lived in was part of the Roman Empire. The Roman emperor ordered everyone to return to their hometowns to take a census or a list of all the people living in the land. This required Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem, the hometown of Joseph’s family.
People around Baby Jesus did not recognize that He was the messiah, but the angels and the wise men did. People around you may not recognize that you are special to God, but the angels do. When Christ was born in a manger in Bethlehem the angels sang songs of praises and the shepherds rejoiced. Jesus was not an ordinary child; He was the one that would take upon Himself the sin of mankind. He was born to give you and I a second chance.
The wise men, guided by the northern star, came to Him with gifts. ‘On coming to the house they saw the child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him.
They opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of Gold, Frankincense and myrrh.’ (Matthew 2:11)
The first gift was gold, a precious metal. Its value could very well have financed Joseph and Mary’s trip to Egypt. Gold is a symbol of divinity and is mentioned throughout the Bible.
The Ark of the Covenant was overlaid with gold. (Exodus 25:10-17). The gift of gold was symbolic of His divinity, His kingship above all people —God in flesh.
The 2nd gift, frankincense, is an aromatic substance used in incense and perfumes. It is a white resin or gum obtained from a tree by making incisions in the bark and allowing the gum to flow out. It is highly fragrant when burned and was therefore used in worship, where it was burned as a pleasant offering to God.
Frankincense is also a symbol of holiness and righteousness. The gift of frankincense to Baby Jesus was symbolic of His willingness to become a sacrifice, wholly giving Himself up, analogous to a burnt offering.
Myrrh, the 3rd gift was a product of Arabia obtained from a tree in the same manner as frankincense. It was a spice and was used in embalming.
It was also sometimes mingled with wine to form an article of drink. Such a drink was given to Jesus when He was about to be crucified, as a stupefying potion (Mark 15:23). Myrrh symbolizes bitterness, suffering, and affliction.
In summary, the spirit of Christmas is less about going back and forth to buy presents but more about giving. It is not about that tree in your living room but remembering God’s grace.
It is not about those lights that shine so brightly in your home but the star that guided the wise men to Jesus.
It is not about the man in a red attire but worshiping the son of God. As you open your presents and celebrate with your family, remember the son of God who was born a long time ago, but remains the Messiah now and forever more.
Have a great Christmas.
Kingdom Dynamics, a weekly column written by Dr. Babatunde Olugboji, the President, Kingdom House, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, USA.