Here's How God Wants Us to Celebrate
The wise men show us what it means to celebrate what is worth celebrating
When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
It’s so much fun to celebrate something, isn’t it? When people come together and share happiness for something as a group, it brings a special kind of joy.
We have such a worthy God to celebrate. That’s one way to describe what worship is: celebrating God. In the Christmas story, we see how important it is to God to celebrate His gift of Jesus.
The story of the wise men
We find the story of the wise men, or Magi, in the Bible in Matthew 2:1-12. These new characters are introduced without much explanation. But one thing is clear – they heard of the birth of the Messiah, and their response is to come to celebrate and worship Him.
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)
The wise men heard that Jesus was born so they went to visit Him. They traveled a far distance to meet the Messiah by following the star that God put in the sky for them (Matthew 2:10). When they arrived, they presented Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11). Then, they left in secret after being warned not to go back to King Herod (Matthew 2:12).
The importance of celebration
The Christmas story could have been told without a mention of the wise men coming to celebrate and worship Jesus, but its inclusion should show us that God values and wants us to celebrate the things He does for us! Here are three ways the wise men celebrated and worshipped God for sending Jesus.
- Dropped everything to worship – As soon as the wise men heard of Jesus’ birth, they began their journey to meet Jesus and worship Him with praise and gifts.
- Followed God’s guidance – They didn’t know where the Messiah was, but God showed them (in fulfillment of a prophecy in the Old Testament) with a star. They didn’t attempt to find Jesus on their own but followed God’s direction.
- Proclaimed His name – Each of the gifts – gold, frankincense, and myrrh – said something about Jesus’ identity. The gold was a representation of His Kingship. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The frankincense (a type of incense) was a representation of Him as the High Priest. And the myrrh, which was used to preserve dead bodies, foretold His death and the way He would defeat death with His resurrection.
As you think about the Christmas story this month – and even all throughout the year – remember the importance of celebrating who Jesus is. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, our High Priest, and the savior of the world. Praise Him!
Pray this week:
Lord, I want to spend this month celebrating the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ. Teach me what it means to celebrate what you have done in my life and give you all the glory. Show me what is worthy of celebration! I love you, and I devote my life to you. Amen.
What do you have to celebrate in your life? When you read that question, do you think of material things or spiritual things that God has given you?