January Devotion: Treasure chests

: Matthew 2:9, 11

[The wise men] . . . set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. . . . On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Reflection: How do you imagine the three wise men decided on those particular gifts to offer? Do you suppose these were the usual baby presents (“Come, come, Balthasar, everyone brings myrrh to a baby shower; were you born in a barn?”) or do you think the wise men decided what their offerings would be after much thought, prayer, and discussion together?

     What about you? When you offer a gift, is it “the usual” – the same two, five, or ten dollars you’ve always put into the basket – or is your gift the product of thoughtful, prayerful discussion and decision?

     We all know something is “the usual” when it would feel a little odd to do something new. But doing something new is what God is all about – God makes all things new (Revelation 21:5)!

     And so, let’s put away “the usual” and do something new. Let’s prayerfully discuss and decide together what our offerings should be, just as the Magi did before they gave so generously to the infant Christ.

Prayer:  Loving God, the wise men came from far away to offer your infant Son homage, honor, and generous gifts from the riches of their hearts and their treasure chests. Let us follow their example, offering your Son our loving service and generous giving to further your work in the world through our ministry together. This we ask through our Lord Jesus Christ, whose own giving knows no ending. Amen.

See the free resource, Kitchen Table Philanthropy for ideas about praying, talking and thinking together about giving.

Past devotions:
November Devotion: What's at stake?
October Devotion: Turn again. Have regard.
September Devotion: The ways of God
August Devotion: To judge like Deborah
June Devotion: How do you receive?