Matthew 2:11

Matthew 2:11 …When they had opened their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh and bowed down and worshipped Him…

In our family, I tend to be somewhat infamous for my Christmas wrapping. I take great pride in selecting just the right paper, ribbons, bows, name tags and any other decorative accouterment I can think of. One year I actually wrapped all the presents under the tree, unwrapped and wrapped them again because I was unhappy with the quality and aesthetics of my work. I used the word infamous before because although the wrapping is done with the best of intentions, when it comes to the recipient actually opening the gift, it sometimes is more than challenging. I have watched family delicately maneuver to not destroy the beautiful handmade bows or rip to shreds the expensive paper…but eventually, the gloves come off, the scissors come out and the gift is finally unearthed. I smile at the relief on my kid’s faces when I hand them a fancy gift bag instead of an intricately wrapped box. The unwrapping process is so much simpler…there’s really no process at all. They are able to freely reach in, take the gift and use it with no struggle; it has practically been opened for them already.

When the wise men came to see Jesus for the first time, it was to worship Him. The Bible says that they brought Him their very best gifts, bowed down and worshipped. It doesn’t mention Jesus asking his mom for a pair of scissors or help with the stubborn ribbon…imagine that. The Scriptures actually say, “When they had opened their treasures, they presented the gifts to Him.” I think there is something to that; bringing our gifts to Jesus already opened. I know many times in my life I am “willing” to offer gifts- my time, talent, money, obedience, but I bring them to Jesus in a package that is practically duct taped shut and expect Him to get out the tools and ruin the box before He can actually use them! What if we were intentional about coming to worship Jesus with our treasures already open?  I think that before Jesus can receive and fully use our gifts, there first must be an opening of our treasure – our biggest fears, our failures, those nagging insecurities, the areas where we feel ill-equipped or incompetent, the dark places where we have seen a version of ourselves we would hate to admit ever existed.

All those things we keep hidden behind our beautifully wrapped surface. He’s already seen them and He loves us just the same.   Don’t be afraid to bring your gifts, yourself, unwrapped.

The next time you’re heading to church on a Sunday, to a mid-week service or in your personal time with the Lord, before you worship, open your treasures…present them to Him. Give Him the gift of all of you- with nothing held back.  Then, He will take your gifts and bring glory to Himself and you will have the peace & joy that comes with being fully known. Your worship will be next level.