How’s your Christmas shopping coming along?
It seems like nothing in life is per usual this year, thanks to the global pandemic. Holiday gatherings have been downsized and Christmas programs cancelled. At the same time, many—desperate for a bit of cheer—have decorated their Christmas trees and strung the lights on their homes earlier than usual.
To accommodate the quarantines and stay-at-home orders, Black Friday sales started weeks before Thanksgiving, and folks began purchasing presents and marking names off of lists.
While I recognize gift-giving and gift-receiving are not the point of Christmas, that nothing can compare to the Gift God already gave us in the precious Babe in the manger, I’m very fond of the tradition. For me, it’s a celebratory act, a tiny homage to the perfect Gift of Jesus Christ.
They say the practice of Christmas gift-giving is modeled after the gifts of the wisemen, the gold, frankincense, and myrrh they offered the infant Lord. They were presents fit for a king, considered rare and valuable.
Even today, those gifts hold their value. Gold is clearly valuable, and have you purchased frankincense or myrrh essential oil? They are quite costly!
At the same time, when you consider context, the wisemen’s gifts can seem irrelevant, humorous even. What need did the Creator of the universe have for gold? Had He not spoken frankincense into being? Was He lacking myrrh?
In the same way that Coronavirus created a different economy in 2020, with toilet paper and bleach surging in value, God’s economy is quite different from our own.
I believe the real present the magi offered was different from the ones in packages they delivered that day in Bethlehem so long ago. The true gift was something God could not make for Himself. We find it in Matthew 2:2, where the wisemen say, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we… have come to worship Him.”
The magi were wise, indeed. They recognized that the Babe who lay in the manger before them was above their own kingly status. He was the King of the heavenly realms, King of eternity, and King with all authority…and so they worshipped. This act of reverence and awe pleased God the way no other gift could.
So go ahead and gather those stocking stuffers. Bake plates of cookies for neighbors and spoil your loved ones with just-right gifts. Bless an orphan with a gift, too! But in the process, don’t neglect giving God what He wants most, your worship and adoration as you acknowledge Him as the greatest gift ever given.
This month, as you pray for The Boaz Project, please lift the following requests and praises to the King of Kings:
1) Thank God for a successful Breakfast with Boaz! Through His children, God exceeded our financial goals for the morning—despite a pandemic! Gifts and pledges for the event totaled $158,000 and will extend the reach of our ministry to orphans.
2) Please ask God to make the Christmas season poignant for the children in our care, that He would use the season to draw them ever closer to Himself.
3) Thank God that step one in the permissions needed in order to break ground for an apartment building for orphans and their caregivers in Kenya has been granted! Ask God to give favor to the project as the remaining permissions are processed.
4) Intercede on behalf of one of our Indian homes that is in need of additional facilities in order to satisfy the Department of Women and Children. Pray that the regulations are dropped or that the department at least permits a reasonable time frame in which to meet the new demands.
Believing in miracles,
The Boaz Project, Inc.