From the perspective of a believer in “God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, our Lord and Saviour, Who was born of the Virgin Mary...,” answering that question is simpler than doing the answer, for the answer is, in the words of a haunting traditional melody, “Go where He sends you.”
The Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship encapsulated this idea in their motto:“Wise men [and women, of course] still follow Jesus.” But how does one do that?
If you already know Him as Lord and Savior, ask Him. He faithfully answers sincere requests for guidance and direction. But keep in mind that He probably will not answer in an audible voice, so much as through a quiet sense of certainty, an inner impression that “This is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21).
If you do not know Him, tell Him that you want to and then begin reading the Gospels in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. There you will read of His coming, His life and teachings, and His death on the cross to pay the penalty—not for His sins, but for yours and mine. Then the book of Acts reveals how His life impacted the earliest believers; the letters to churches tell much about how to ‘follow’ Him in the workaday world/ It’s pretty radical stuff, for ‘following’ Him calls more often for changes in attitudes and activities than in geography.
What do we ‘do’ with Jesus?
“And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped Him.” (Matthew 2: 11a ESV)
Jesus is no longer a child, of course, nor is He in “a house made with hands” now. He’s gone to His original home, Heaven, where He sits at “the right hand of God the Father” (Colossians 3:1). But the example of the Wise Men is still valid: The only appropriate approach to Jesus is with awe, wonder, love...is worship, whether literally on our knees or kneeling in our hearts. ‘Worship’ acknowledges that He is God, the Lord, worthy of our praise, obedience, and unending gratitude...for Who He is, for what He has done, for how He loves us.
What are appropriate gifts for Him?
“Then, opening their treasures, they presented unto him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2: 11b ESV)
Gold was the gift for a king; Jesus is the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelations 19:16). Frankincense was the gift for a priest to offer as incense to God on behalf of those who sought priestly intercession; Jesus came as our great High Priest (Hebrews 9:11). Myrrh was used in preparing bodies for burial, a reminder that Jesus came to die for our sins. But those are not the Christmas gifts appropriate for us to offer Him today.
What He wants from us, and what we most need to give if we are truly to celebrate Christmas, is captured in those endearing words of Rossetti: “What can I give Him, poor as I am?” The little lad begins to consider possibilities: “If I were a shepherd, I’d give Him a lamb.” At last he ‘gets it’: “I know what I’ll give Him...I’ll give Him my heart!”
That’s the gift Jesus wants, this year and all year long. And it is truly ‘the gift that keeps on giving’...to Him, yes, but also to others in this needy, needy world.
Have a good week...and a wonderful Christmas!