As I was preparing for the Sunday morning message this week I decided to have a little object lesson as I preach about the wise men coming to the Christ child. So I went out and purchased some frankincense and myrrh. How fascinating to actually see and smell these Christmas gifts to our Lord ! Smells are often a subjective thing for the most part. My wife wasn’t particularly impressed by frankincense (though I liked it) and she liked myrrh better than I. But her smeller is much better than mine ! But I suppose in the first century in Israel such gifts and their respective aromas were a great luxury and much sought after. Today we can walk into a store and buy about any scent you can think of. We’re a tad spoiled !!
The Bible uses the idea of how we sacrifice for the Lord as a sweet aroma. Recall Paul’s words to the Philippians regarding their love offering to him while he was incarcerated for preaching the gospel: “I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.” (4:18). Our American Christmas tradition places major emphasis upon the giving of gifts but as the holiday approaches do consider how you give ! Is what I give a “good smelling” gift to the Lord? For it’s easy to go through the motions in my giving. As you soon will be with family, whatever your role give your best to them for His sake. If it’s cooking do it well, if cleaning to His glory, if decorating or planning the time together make an impact for Him. If your the guest, be a great one and chip in well and show heartfelt appreciation to the host/hostess. We must give out of devotion to Him Who first gave His all for us !!