In this Christmas series, "The Gift," we're asking:
What do you give the God who has everything?
Yesterday, we looked at the gift of the Little Drummer Boy. But perhaps you consider yourself more of a wise man. (Or a wise guy. There is no judgment here.) If such is the case, consider the gift of gold.
Gold has long been a measure of a man's worth, but it was by no means the common currency. If you look back through the monetary exchanges, the transactions for goods and services in Scripture, what you find is that most dealings were in silver. Eleven brothers sold Joseph for eight ounces of silver. Thirty shekels of silver was the price for Judas to betray the Lord. Even gifts, often brought from the leader of one people to the leader of another, included a great deal of silver yet very little gold.
So valuable, so precious, and maybe even so scarce was gold that in the Solomon's building of the temple, most items were first cast in bronze and then plated in gold. It simply would have been that ridiculous and that prohibitively impossible to garner enough gold to actually carve out even the holiest of holies. It was, instead, a simple covering. The illusion of grandeur over the solidity of common material.
Is it any wonder, then, that the wise man brought gold to the stable?
He brought this precious metal, this unaffordable luxury, this richness of richness that was a symbol of status. A symbol of beauty. A symbol of wealth. But that so often merely covered something of much less, something so common and relatively simple as bronze or some other soft material. Gold was both an unspeakable wealth and a tremendous farce.
He brought this gift of gold and laid it at the Christ child's feet. I have this, the wise man said, but it is of such little value. It looks worthy and it makes me look worthy, but there is nothing in this world made of solid gold. Not even me. It is a facade, a false front for a man who of soft mettle, at best, and it is worth nothing next to You.
This Christmas, as we ponder what we give to the God who has everything, let us consider giving the gift of our gold.
Let us take whatever it is we have that makes us seem worthy. That makes us seem beautiful. That makes us seem ornate and grand and breathtaking. Let us take Him this measure of the world that so longs to define who or what we are and lay our gold at His feet.
Let us lay down whatever impressions we might have had of worth as we gaze into the eyes of a newborn Messiah who knows the truth. Who knows that underneath it, we are much more common and relatively simple. That underneath our gold, under our facade, under our false faces and fake impressions, we are men of mere mettle and soft clay.
Let us give Him that covering we're hiding behind that seems to make us worthy. He has come to redefine worth by the measure of God, not the standard of man. When we lay down our gold, we acknowledge that.
And we expose ourselves clay in His hand, ready to be molded and shaped and yes, even cast, in our place in His story. Once we are cast, it is He who covers us in something greater and gives us worth.
More precious, more rich, more beautiful, and more lavish than gold.