Hail the blest morn, See the Great Mediator
Down from the regions of glory descend
Shepherds go worship the Babe in the manger,
Lo, for His guard the bright angels attend.
Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness and lend us Thine aid;
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.
- Cold on His cradle the dewdrops are shining;
Low lies His head with the beasts of the stall;
Angels adore Him in slumber reclining,
Maker and Monarch and Savior of all!
- Say, shall we yield Him, in costly devotion,
Odors of Edom and offerings divine?
Gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest, or gold from the mine?
- Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gifts would His favor secure;
Richer by far is the heart’s adoration,
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.
~Reginald Heber 1811
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Advent is the expectancy of receiving God on earth, the unimaginable gift to Man that keeps on giving.
Yet in the anticipation of receiving that ultimate gift, we tend to forget that we ourselves bring something to lay down at the manger.
It isn’t gilded containers of rich and rare spices.
It is our own hearts, offered with humble prayer of gratitude and adoration.
We give our gift knowing that in the giving, our lives will never be the same again.
Who else would accept such a gift and hand over His heart and life in return?