Lift up your eyes all around, and see;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from afar,
and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and exult,
because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall bring good news, the praises of the Lord.
All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you;
the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;
they shall come up with acceptance on my altar,
and I will beautify my beautiful house. Isaiah 60:4-7 ESV
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.”
After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11 ESV
When someone is a king or a queen, people from all over the world give gifts to this important person. Queen Elizabeth II of the UK has received all kinds of gifts during the many years she has been the queen. She has received a hockey jersey from Canada, a whale’s tooth from Fiji, four sheep from Pakistan, a totem pole from British Columbia in Canada, a wine bottle cooler shaped like a grasshopper from the president of France, a pair of ducks from the Channel Islands, a solid gold camel from the United Arab Emirates, a horse from the Royal Canadian mounted police, and many other interesting things. People give gifts to a king or a queen to show respect, and also to win good feelings and friendship.
The prophet Isaiah talked about a time in the future when people from all over the world would bring gifts to God’s people Israel. The first and most important gift people from the nations of the world would bring would be the sons and daughters of Israel who had been scattered far and wide. But there would be other gifts, too, gold and frankincense, flocks and rams, gifts coming from the sea by ships and gifts coming across the desert in camels. Everything would be brought to God’s house and offered on the altar of the Lord, because God is the king of his people, and he is the one the nations of the world would come to honor.
God came to his people in Jesus, and after Jesus was born wise men from the courts of far-off kings brought gifts to the baby Jesus. They brought costly gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh across the desert to honor the king who had been born among his people. These gifts that the wise men brought long ago were just the beginning of the gifts people from around the world have brought to Jesus, the king. When people hear the good news of what Jesus has done for them, how he died on the cross so that their sins could be forgiven and they could be God’s people, they give Jesus their hearts and their lives, the greatest treasures of all. The Lord Jesus wants people from all parts of the world to come to him and be his people, and seeing people from the ends of the earth come to worship him is the best gift of all for a king who gives us so much more than we could ever give him.
Dear Jesus, thank you for being our king and making us your people. Please help us to give you our lives and hearts and to share your love with others. Amen.