Prayer, Plain and Simple

By Claudia Mair Burney

Tuesday, the third week of Advent

“A star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.” Numbers 24:17 (2).

“On 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.” Matthew 2:11

The wise men followed a star. When I read this narrative I’m following the wise men, but end up finding a star. But do I see him as clearly as these learned men did? What do the gifts I offer the Lord say about my worship? Do I give him reverence and honor, rather than gold, gifts of the soul fit for a king. Do I offer him my most fervent, sincere prayers, rather than frankincense, knowing he is a priest who ever lives to intercede for me? And what about the myrrh? What a strange gift it was from the Magi. Myrrh was bitter, used for its medicinal properties. But it had another use: to embalm the dead. What can I offer Christ knowing he will die for my sins? The only thing I have that’s acceptable is my grateful heart, rejoicing in his saving grace.

Jesus my starlight,

I must follow you. Help me to worship you, as befitting to one so magnificent. You are my king. Help me to yield to you, and obey your every command. You are my salvation. The Magi offered you gold, frankincense and myrrh, but eventually they left you. Give me so much love that I stay before you always, continuing to adore you. You humbled yourself to receive a body like the one my soul resides in. Help me to offer you spiritual gifts more sublime than any earthly things. I want to thank you for all you do.

“Come, Lord Jesus.”

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