|Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy: The Three Wise Men" (named Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar). Detail from: "Mary and Child, surrounded by angels", mosaic of a Ravennate italian-byzantine workshop, completed within 526 AD by the so-called "Master of Sant'Apollinare". (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands
render him tribute;
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
English Standard Version (ESV)
Tis the season when gifts are given. We give to loved ones and to those to whom we wish to pay tribute. We give gifts to relatives, friends, and co-workers. Often gifts are exchanged. Other times gifts are given selflessly without expectations of receiving anything in return.
The Magi--those Three Kings of yore--brought gifts to one whom they knew was important even though they might have not had any idea why he was important. During his brief stay on Earth, Jesus gave himself freely to the people. He taught us how we should live and how we could live forever in his light.
And what did the people give Him? A cross, a crown of thorns, pain, ridicule, and death.
Yet, this is what had to be. We call it sacrifice.
God calls it love, mercy, and justice. Jesus was our ultimate gift from God. His life for our sin. Don't forget Jesus Christ this Christmas.
...they (the Three Kings) went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 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.
New International Version (NIV)