According to Matthew’s Gospel the wise men, or astrologers, who followed a star to Bethlehem gave Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They believed that they would find a long-awaited king and these were usual gifts to welcome a king – gold is mentioned many times in the Bible as a precious metal, frankincense which is hardened tree sap is burned as a perfume or incense and is symbolic of holiness and divinity, and myrrh, aromatic resin from a small thorny tree, which is very bitter is used for anointing after death, and is a sign of the suffering that Jesus would endure.
What gifts would we bring to Jesus today? Probably not gold, frankincense or myrrh!
At the beginning of the Epiphany service give each person in the congregation a small square piece of Christmas wrapping paper and a pen. During the service ask each person to write a special gift that they would like to give Jesus on the plain side of the paper or a New Year intention. Fold the paper into a parcel and bring it forward to place in a basket by the Christmas crib. Gifts might include loving, joy-bringer, peacemaking, friendship, discipleship, trust, listening, helping, caring...
When all the folded pieces of paper have been brought forward the basket containing our chosen gifts and New Year intentions can be held up to be blessed and dedicated with the blessing below.
As the wise men found Jesus, born in Bethlehem, See Gallery photo of folded pieces of wrapping paper.
and offered to him their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh,
so may we find Jesus, born in our hearts today,
and offer to him our own gifts and New Year intentions.
We ask God to bless and dedicate them to Jesus.
May they be to us a daily reminder to live in the light of his presence.
As the wise men found Jesus, born in Bethlehem,
See Gallery photo of folded pieces of wrapping paper.