You've spent some time wondering what you might get for Christmas.
'Sokay, you can admit it.
You might even have stretched that speculation out, wondering what life might bring you.
Aside from stuff, stuff, and more stuff (plus socks), maybe you'd like to think you'll get some less tangible but more substantial gifts to tear into in your lifetime.
Or: into academia, and research, and similar pursuits that seem nerdy to others but are right up your alley?
Would you like to think that, when you hit town in a new place, you caused a real stir?
Wanna meet royalty?
Maybe you just want a little joy in your life.
Fulfillment of a dream--that's always high on everybody's list.
How 'bout making history, and being remembered as an important part of an event with global impact?
Some among us might simply want to hear and obey God's leading.
One Biblical bunch got all of these and more: the Wise Men.
From the Biblical account (see Matthew 2:1-16), it looks like a star appeared and their quest began, only ending about two years later.
That's a lot of time to give.
It must have required plenty of planning and a significant financial investment.
I'm also thinking that an extended journey at that time in history had to have been pretty challenging: on foot or via animal, facing danger and weather and setbacks of who knows what sort.
They carried gold with them as one of their gifts. Gold, while awfully pretty, is also awfully heavy. And they had no wheels on their bags!
They went through all this, giving their time and effort and money, partially to give gifts.
They were all about giving!
And what did they get for all their giving?
They got to verify the intersection of a prophecy with the appearance of an astrological body. (That would make any scholar happy.)
All Jerusalem was disturbed when they heard what the Wise Men had to say (v. 3).
They got to meet with King Herod--twice.
Matthew 2:10 (NIV) says, "When they saw the star, they were overjoyed."
They did what they set out to do: they worshipped the King of Kings and presented their gifts to Him. One of these gifts was a peculiar thing to give to a child: myrrh, a resin commonly used to prepare a body for burial.
This odd gift was one of the first signs that Jesus had come not just to live among men, but also to die for mankind. The Wise Men carved out their place in history, becoming part of God's Plan.
Though Herod had asked them to clue him in to the location of the child, God warned these men in a dream not to go back to him, and they listened to His guidance.
The Wise Men understood the importance of giving, and gave generously of themselves, but also received some of life's greatest blessings in return.