Matthew 2:1-2,7-12 NRSVue

1In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, magi from the east came to Jerusalem, 2asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star in the east and have come to pay him homage.”

7Then Herod secretly called for the magi and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9When they had heard the king, they set out, and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen in the east, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Some thoughts on this scripture

Matthew sees the wise men, the astrologers (magi) as representatives of the Gentile world in all its racial diversity coming from the East; Persia, Syria and Arabia, just as many Gentiles did when they joined Matthew's community. The wise men, in gratitude, offer the child Jesus gifts fit for a king, gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

The deepest obstacle to honest gratitude is the refusal to accept the fact that I am gifted by God in so many ways, often beyond imagining! It is pride, not humility, to refuse to acknowledge the gifts that God has endowed me with. Today I wish to express my gratitude to God for his many gifts.