Have you ever been on a family vacation? What do you do before you go? You figure out where you’re going, what you will need on the way, what you will need when you get there, and so on. If you’re going by car, who drives and who navigates?
The wise ones searching for Jesus had a celestial GPS—they followed a star that led them to Bethlehem.
The gospel tells of the wise teachers who travelled a great distance to find Jesus and brought gifts in recognition of how important they knew he was going to be.
These gifts were of great value: gold, which buys what we need; frankincense, which enriches all it touches; and myrrh, an exotic perfume, the beauty of which lingers in our senses long after its scent has gone.
These are the gifts that we, too, bring to the Holy One. Gold is represented by our financial commitment to our church—the dollars and cents that keep the lights on and pay the staff who minister for and with us, and run our programs. It is also a gift to the wider community, because the building is there for community use.
Frankincense is the talent within each of us that we can share with the community of faith. Some can sing, some are handy, some can cook, some garden. Together our gifts enrich the life of our congregation.
Myrrh is the gift of our presence in worship, the social groups we join, the individuals who receive our pastoral care. Sharing a few moments of your time with another person is a gift that lasts much longer than the actual time spent.
Stewardship is the wise sharing of these gifts.