Giving and Receiving: Advent Day 22

When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:10–11 NLT)

Christmas is a holiday of giving, especially of gifts. Unlike a birthday where only one person typically receives gifts, Christmas includes everyone. This tradition likely stems, in part, from the gifts given to the Christ child from the wise men, or magi, who traveled from an unnamed nation to the east of Israel to present gifts to a newly born king.

These travelers were not simply fulfilling a duty assigned to them by a superior; couriers they were not. Whatever their stature in their country of origin, they arrived willingly and eagerly of their own accord. No courier would have expressed such joy upon arriving at the home where Jesus and Mary were. The magi presented Jesus and His family with gifts of considerable value because they sought His well-being, and they did not relinquish that desire once the gifts were given; they took heed of the warning given to them in a dream to leave by another route to prevent Herod from learning through them where the so-called King of the Jews resided. They continually sought the welfare of Jesus and His family throughout their journey.

This week’s video concerns a group of individuals who have chosen to seek the welfare of high school students through a mentorship program. Watch the videos above to hear two stories of how this act of giving resulted in so much more for both the mentors and students. Then, invite the Holy Spirit to reveal if you set constraints on the ways in which you seek the welfare of others or if you are open the movement of the Spirit like the magi were when they changed their travel plans.