~~Link to Part 1~~
When the wise men came to Bethlehem, they came bearing gifts, first out of their hearts’ fullness, for they fell down to worship the Christ-child, and then, out of their treasure bags’ fullness of precious things, for they offered gifts of sacrifice.
When the wise men came to Bethlehem, they brought gold, one of the purest and most valuable of all metals. It serves to remind us of that which is of genuine worth and value, as it was lavishly used to cover the articles of the temple and the temple itself. It reminds us, too, of the pure worth and value of Christ, and that He fashions our hearts into the pure gold for His temple, the home of His holiness and pureness.
When the wise men came to Bethlehem, they brought frankincense, a sweet, aromatic perfume, burned as incense, and, among other things, was an ingredient in the anointing oil.
It serves to show us the precious Holy Spirit, anointing us to be in the presence of the Father, as the incense mingles with the sweet-smelling sacrifice of prayer, rises to the throne room and lingers at the Father’s feet.
When the wise men came to Bethlehem, they brought myrrh, a fragrant, costly perfume, used in purification rites and for cleansing, also as an ingredient in the anointing oil, and used for preservation in death.
It represents the costly perfume of Christ as His blood purifies and cleanses us, preserving us in death.
The wise men found their way into Bethlehem and Bethlehem found its way into their hearts.
Have you found Bethlehem?
* Do you bring the sacrificial gifts out of your heart’s treasury to the Christ-child? The purity of holiness? The costly fragrance of continual prayer? A cleansed soul, preserved from eternal death?
* Do you offer Him your heart as His manger, as the vessel of His resting place? Or is it full of jealousy, envy, hatred, unforgiveness, self-pity, lust, anger, or prejudice? Is there any room left for Him to come and “lay down His sweet head”? Have you said, “Sorry, there is no room for You in this inn”?
* Does He plead, “But where will I be born; where will I find My resting place? Your manger is full, full of unforgiveness, full of your own self. I see no room for Me. I’ve been turned away from inn after inn; where do you wish Me to go?”
The only way you will find Bethlehem is when you remember to kneel in worship to the Christ Who loved you so much that He came in a tiny, human form.
And where will Bethlehem find you?
* In the car sitting in snarling traffic, snarling back at it?
* On the way to Grandma’s house, Aunt Sophie’s, or Mom and Dad’s?
* On a plane, or a bus?
* Or perhaps at the mall, rushing to find that last minute gift? Will it really find you there?
How does it come?
* Does it come rolling in as with chariot wheels rumbling?
* Or does it come silently, as with a gentle whisper?
* Does it come in a season, or in a moment, as in the twinkling of an eye?
* Does it come decorated in beautiful wrappings, resting under the tree?
* Or does it come in the sacrifice of your heart’s gift?
Wise men give Christ room to dwell. Will you be a wise man (or woman) this year? Will you visit Bethlehem this Christmas? Will its Visitor visit you? Will Bethlehem come and leave again, finding you not because your heart’s inn is full?
Make room for the Christ-child; make room for the Christ-Man. Give Him the lodging place He deserves. Be as the wise men when they came to Bethlehem: worshiping on bended knee, grateful, and bringing gifts.
“O come all ye faithful…O come ye to Bethlehem…Come and behold Him, born the King of angels! O come, let us adore Him…Christ the Lord!”
When wise, men (and women) come to Bethlehem!
I pray abundant blessings for you and your family, for a Christmas filled with the presence of the Christ-child and the Christ-Man. May you find Bethlehem and may it find you.