Packing up a house after living in it for 15-years is not for the faint of heart.
How can anyone collect so much “stuff”?
But in the midst of the tearing down and tossing away required for downsizing, Dianne and I have had the joyful experience of discovering hidden treasure:
- A book created and authored by our oldest son when he was in kindergarten.
- Paintings skillfully smeared by creative minds with toddler fingers.
- Trophies for everything from soccer teams to science projects.
- Pictures of unforgettable life moments too easily forgotten when the pictures are put away.
- Favorite toys, dolls with names, and of course, remnants of the blankie a little one couldn’t live without.
Emotional scrapbooks of a lived history. Experiential collages of a loved family.
Opening those treasures unearthed the world we’ve lived in our 36 years together. In many ways, those vaults display the values of our family.
These are the treasure of our hearts.
Mining all of these memories has opened a new insight on an old story this Season.
Some call them Wise Men. Others Kings. Matthew simply names them Magi.
We really don’t know how many there were, where exactly they came from or if they actually understood what they were part of.
What we do know is what they were doing.
They were on a quest to find the one thing that made the heavens glow in admiration.
They searched long and hard…and in all the wrong places. Herod’s house was hardly a place you’d find a Prince of Peace.
But when they got it right and found what they were really looking for, it was bigger than they ever imagined and more than they ever hoped.
They saw God’s heart.
What lay in that straw-filled manger was the love of God swaddled in rags.
The power of that place incited the only reasonable response from men who based their entire lives on reason.
“Then…they opened their treasures.” (Matthew 2:11b)
Then—the very moment they discovered the extremes to which God would go to show the extremity of His love. At that time…in that space…they opened their treasures.
When they saw how vulnerable God had become they knew He could be trusted. Fear vanished. Now they could risk opening the safe in which they stored the things they valued most.
And in the dim light of that stable they realized something profound. This Baby was worth far more than all their treasures.
So they left them.
The exchange rate was everything they had for everything He was.
The Stargazers were forever changed.
You see, it was after they opened their treasures that God revealed all He had for them…and they went back another way. (Matthew 2:12)
The Magi had no idea that the valuables they presented to the Baby would be used by God to safeguard that family so the Word would survive and be heard everywhere.
All they knew is the treasure they found in the manger was worth far more than the treasures they bore in their hands.
Nothing has really changed in 2,000 years.
- Trust in the goodness of God is the key to vulnerability.
- Vulnerability to the grace of God is the key to change.
- You never know what will happen when you open your treasures to God.
In the manger God showed how much He would give. In the stable, how far He would go. In the baby…God opened His treasure.
We probably don’t carry around much gold, frankincense or myrrh today. But this season reminds us of something vital.
Our treasuries are hearts…“where your treasure is, your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
The question this year at Christmas might just be…
How far will you go to know how far God has gone?