“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” Romans 12:1
This autumn view of my garden reminds me of gold.
Which reminds me of some characters in the Christmas story…
The ‘Wise Guys’ – to quote a little from days gone by.
Wise men of old searched the stars. Studied parchments, fragments of prophecies handed down from generation to generation. Sought the wisdom of the ancients, and came to a startling conclusion.
A new star in the sky could only mean one thing.
A king so revolutionary, he was only whispered about in drafty castle halls and dreamed of by maidens on silk pillows. A king so powerful, his birth produced enough cosmic energy in the heavenlies to create a blinding light to appear for the first time.
This, they left all to follow.
The journey would be treacherous – bandits. Rough terrain. The sheer distances involved were enormous, staggering even the young and ambitious among their number.
Months of provisions. Camels. Saddlebags and water flasks and bribes for greedy officials. Yes, it would cost them.
Not to mention the gifts.
A king of this import would need gifts – the best of their lands. Only the finest of the mines and forests – the purest gold, the most aromatic frankincense, the sweetest myrrh.
We don’t know a lot about these men from the east who traveled so far to find the child Jesus. We don’t know their number, or their nationality, or their place of origin.
We do know that they undertook an ambitious travel plan, and that they brought valuable gifts.
So in all your Christmas preparations this year, what are you planning on getting God?
These words penned by the Apostle Paul so long ago point us in the right direction.
“…give your bodies to God…”
As in, give you.
Everything else has been given to us by a good and loving Father. Even our bodies are a profound gift. Yes, we should share with those in need. Absolutely, we should give of our finances.
But – what the king really wants is you.
Your heart. Your attention. Your willingness to learn. Your time. Your talents. Your truest self, that part at the heart of who you are.
There are some delectable consequences to giving yourself as a gift.
1. Everything you do immediately has deeper value.
Making breakfast. Brushing your teeth. Sharing a smile, a word of encouragement, a moment of grace – when you do all things for the king, each moment becomes holy.
2. To live mindfully is to worship.
Washing dishes, washing a child’s face, washing a conversation with truth and grace – these are profound acts of worship when you slow down and deliberately perform them as such. Worship moves us closer to the heart of God, and is an act of deep communication.
3. The gift of yourself brings God pleasure.
Learning to live less for self and more for the king is a step toward becoming more like Jesus – and God is pleased! He loves to spend time with us, hear our concerns, share in our joys, support us through the frustrations.
Plan to give a gift fit for a king this Christmas?
Father, You have given us so much. Teach us how to give You more of ourselves this Christmas season as we prepare for the holidays. Amen.