The first indication that this child Jesus is of significance not just for the Jews but for the whole world is the visitation of the three wise men from the East to offer their worship and their gifts.
The window above the altar at Holy Trinity in Utrecht is this scene of the visitation of the three wise men and the moment of their offering to Christ their gifts – gold, francincense and myrrh (see right). Wonderfully, the wise man who gives gold does not offer a box of gold, as is usually depicted, but the artist of the window has combined this offering with the image in Revelation of the 24 elders who cast their golden crowns before the Lamb of God.
Whenever the living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to him who is seated on the throne… the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” [4:9-11]
In that act of adoration, the elders in heaven are acknowledging that any gift, anything of value that they have to offer, is the returning of the gift given by God. It is God who adorns our lives with talents.
It is helpful for us to reflect on what it is we can give back to God out of thanksgiving for the goodness we have received.
With the planting of a new church in Amersfoort many people have stepped up to offer themselves to help in worship and in care of children. If you are in Amersfoort you can speak to Grant about ways you could assist.
In Utrecht we now have need for more people to help in Sunday worship – readers, intercessors, stewards, altar servers, people who can help in the cleaning of linens used at the altar, people to help with the Creche and to host the coffeetime after the service. Do you have computer and layout skills to help with our monthly Newsletter? The more that come forward the less onerous the task is on any individual. We would love to see more youth and students involved also in any of these tasks.
The same goes for Zwolle (speak with Grant or myself) and for Groningen (speak with Sam).
It is also good to begin to think about the upcoming Annual General Meeting in April, where we will be electing a new Council. Would you like to serve on Council this year?
May God richly bless us in the coming year as we offer ourselves, our souls and bodies, as living sacrifices in response to Christ’s great offering of Himself for us.
In His love, David