"Then they opened their treasure chests and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrhh." Matthew 2:11
There are two things I see here. First is the most obvious, that the three wise men are examples to us. They opened what were their treasures, and gave them freely to Christ the King. This is exactly what He draws us towards as well. All that we treasure, both good and that which is not good at all, must be offered up to Him in worship. There is so much that is good, that we love, honor, and hold to our hearts. Yet that which is good, if held too tightly, will always come between us and the One who is best and central to life. People, and our relationship with them. Dreams, hopes, and desires. All of these can be very good things, but true worship calls to us to release these to Him, entrust them to Him, and surrender to His desire for us in them.....even if His desire runs counter to ours.
Yet "good things" are not all that we can "treasure." We can hold in our hearts that which is slowly killing us; anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, toxic relationships, and unclean desires. We may despise them, but we cannot, will not let go of them. In a dark sense, they too are our treasures, and true worship of the Christ demands that these too be offered up to Him. All of this is the true essence of worship, which is something far more than the singing of a few songs each week, with a sermon (brief as possible) added in. True worship surrenders even the most cherished "possessions" to Him. Do we offer up to Him our treasures, or just our trinkets?
As I write, I'm reminded of an event that happened every year after Christmas, during the first week of the New Year in the neighborhood where I grew up. Across from the two lane road behind our home was a large flat cinder dump. To this place, all the people around would bring their dead, dry Christmas trees, and form them into a large mound. There could be 200 or more trees at a time. It was quite a happening, and we children especially looked forward to it. The volunteer fire department would be on hand to set, and control the fire that would consume them. Something I remember from all that was how just about every tree had a great deal of tinsel still clinging to it. Just weeks before the tree, in all its decorated glory had stood central in every home. Now they were nothing but dried out needles and faded tinsel. The fire would be set, and the flames would roar and consume. It wasn't long before the entire mound had been burnt up, and all that was left were ashes. The trees were gone. The tinsel was gone. What had captivated so many was gone. What Christmas had meant for so many....was gone. As I think on it now, the tinsel and glitter that we had worshiped had faded away, and was burnt up. And such is the end of all that we treasure and value over and above Him. They are ashes in comparison to Him.
This is Christmas Eve, and His call to us is to come, open our treasures unto Him, and receive the greater gift, the Treasure of Himself, given freely to us. Everything else is fading tinsel....that eventually gets burnt up. He alone remains. Yes, we offer our treasures freely to Him, but in return, we receive a Treasure that is beyond any value we can conceive. What will your worship be directed at this year and beyond? Dried needles and fading tinsel.....or the glory of Christ that can never fade? The Father opened His greatest treasure unto us; His Son, Jesus Christ. With such a gift to us, how can we hold anything back from Him?
Blessings, and a most joyous Christmas to you,