I greet you in the name of one of the ancient wise ones! In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, Merry Christmas!
We imagine the scene easily: a family huddled together for comfort in a difficult time, animals wandering in and out, perhaps some neighborhood children peeking in to see what's going on, and then come some strangers who look out of place. They are dressed for travel and there is something different about their demeanor, something that you recognize right away as foreign. It's not that their look is unfamiliar. You just know that they aren't from around here.
In our Bible, the wise ones have come to see the child who their dreams have shown will be great among the nations. The child will in his time become wise himself. Events and personal experiences will reveal in his time that he has a message for all people. For some of the people he meets in his brief life, it will become clear that he is the message. In order to explain it to each other, they will say that he is the promised messiah. In our time, we will call him Christ and see in him what a life beloved of God looks like. We will see what a life loving God looks like.
Those wise folk bring gifts for the child. It was the child who came to be a gift to all.
This year, as you give gifts, I suggest you keep in your mind how precious and unknown the future is for the one to whom you give the gift. Even if what you are giving is a simple pair of white socks to a homeless person unknown to you, trust that life may bring something amazing out of that person in days to come. Trust God to do a new thing.