A Breath for Joyful Gifts

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11

I do like to give gifts. Gifts is my love language! And in receiving…yes, I love that too, especially when the gift shows that I am known.

Treasured Gifts

What I have learned about the treasured gifts to Jesus from the Magi;

Gold: Gold is valuable, beautiful, and long-lasting. Scholars generally agree that the gift of gold represented Jesus as a king with an everlasting throne. It was a treasure befitting royalty.

Frankincense: An acknowledgement of Jesus’ priesthood, setting him apart from a typical king. Frankincense was used in the temple routines, burned ceremonially by the priests. Not native to that region made obtaining frankincense costly so was precious in both meaning and value.

Myrrh: A spice for a person who is about to die foreshadowing Jesus’ sacrifice.

And myrrh mixed with frankincense comprises an antimicrobial aromatic substance used to fight disease–practical way to protect Jesus when he was young!

Such precious, thoughtful gifts!

How do we choose?

As we come into the season with mail boxes stuffed with shopping flyers, an abundance of emails advertising gifts to purchase, and doorbells ringing from charity ambassadors, may we pause with breath to allow frenzy consumerism to drift away and the Holy Spirit’s voice to direct our choices.

For, like the wise men, we each have unique gifts to bring that are long-lasting, encouraging, teaching, healing and joyful to those we love.

Do you have a special gift-giving tradition at Christmas?


Idea on sustainable holiday shopping


Update on my broken wrist–I don’t need surgery! So, in about 6 weeks, I hope to be lifting my camera & start capturing nature spaces to share here again.

14 thoughts on “A Breath for Joyful Gifts

  1. Just this morning I finished sending off the order for some local cheese to be sent to our family that lives out of state. The gifts are small, but it’s become a yearly tradition that our family members look forward to. And today as I ordered, wishing that I could give a larger gift, I suddenly grew so thankful for all of the years of this small connection that God has allowed us to share. He does direct our giving, even when it seems like it’s just another “tradition” that falls into place. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts and questions today, that stirred the confirmation in my heart. Blessings to you and your loved ones this Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for reminding me of the significance of the Magi’s gifts, Lynn. Their dedication to get to Jesus is inspiring. It must have been such a long, grueling journey to bring their gifts to Jesus. And they surely were guided by the Holy Spirit from the beginning. I’m with you on letting go of the consumerism and following the voice of the Holy Spirit to direct our choices. Love and blessings to you!

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  3. Yay for not needing surgery! Whew.

    It is funny how the gift of Jesus has become this frenzy of shopping holiday. People seem so anxious this time of year. But that’s not really what it is all about. (Funny is not the right word.)

    I try to focus on homemade or nostalgic gifts. This year I made plates with handprints on them, some of my kids and some of my great-nephew for his grandma (my sister) and the grandparents on the other side. There is a pottery shop near here where you can paint and fire things. It is fun and a nice memory to share.

    “myrrh mixed with frankincense comprises an antimicrobial aromatic substance used to fight disease”

    It is really amazing that they seemed to know this back then. Maybe they knew a lot of things that we are unaware of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah…how I love that idea of handprinted plates. Those are treasured over a life-time. And it is also the memory of creating those gifts that may even go beyond the physical gift. Yes, it is amazing the things they knew back then that we may not even know now–overshadowed by man-made ideas instead of God’s creations. Have a wonderful Christmas Sandi!

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  4. I love this little invitation to consider what true gifts really mean.

    These days, the best seem to be the ones which allow me to share a favorite experience with another. A little note from a granddaughter is always sweet. I’m a big Amazon fan.

    And I do like keeping a little stash of goodies on hand for those just-in-case scenarios.

    Lynn … thanks for this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love to give gifts that are meaningful to the person. My daughter in law made a comment about she would love to have a small village set to put on a table. I knew the kind she meant, ceramic, church, houses, store, post office,etc. So I was thrift store shopping the other day on purpose for these items, got her a village probably worth 500 dollars new for under 50 dollars. She was thrilled and I was thrilled to give her her Merry Christmas gift. My grand daughter loves maps, globes, so I bought her a globe necklace like the one I wear that she admires. Now for the boys which for me is harder, my other grand daughter wants a cross necklace like mine, girls are easy, or so I think. Lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Magi story is quite remarkable…so many facets to it. One thing I love is that they come to worship Jesus but they didn’t stop there. After they worshiped, they gave (of their gifts). It’s a second step or the next action of faith. If only more followers of Jesus moved beyond worship on Sunday and gave of themselves to serve. Thanks for sharing this Lynn!

    Liked by 1 person

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