This morning, we celebrate the Epiphany, the arrival of the three wisemen in the Holy Land. The wisemen go first to the palace. Until this morning, I was under the impression that they were simply seeking directions; however a reflection I read earlier suggested that the wisemen went to the palace because that is where they expected the king to be. Instead, they found him lying in a manger. They found him in a humble abode. Despite Jesus not living up to their expectations of a king, they treated him as one by paying him homage and offering him gifts worthy of a king.
Unlike the three wisemen, we know that this king is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the one who showed great power and might by delivering the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, and, on their behalf, conquering the Holy Land. Because we know who he is, our response should be even greater than that of these three men.
What gifts are befitting a king such is this? What can we give a king who holds everything in the palm of his hand? I think of the story of the little drummer boy, and how his gift was a humble song. This is a great example of a gift befitting a king such as this. We can give him the gift of our littleness. In fact, we can give him all of the parts of us that respond to him like Herod who plotted against him and sought to kill him. By recognizing our littleness before him, we give him to opportunity to fashion us into one who can give more perfect homage and praise to the king of Kings.
Spend some time with the Holy Spirit reflecting on your own response to this king. Likely, you will find yourself responding to him in ways that recognize his divinity and kingship, and at other times responding as though he is a threat to your own rule. Spend some time talking to the Holy Spirit about the areas where you need perfection. Ask him to enter in to these places, and to heal all the places where you resist him. While you are at it, spend some time praising him for the ways in which recognize him as king because it is only through his grace that any part of us can properly respond to him.