The wise men came. They brought gifts, a wise thing to do for a baby, but these were not your typical baby shower type gifts.
Oh, but they were gifts packed with great meaning.
One was frankincense. So why incense? Why out of all of the gifts these magi could have included would they bring incense? You can’t eat it. A baby can’t wear it. Perhaps it doesn’t seem at first like an appropriate gift for a baby.
But it was a gift fit for a priest. Frankincense was part of the incense used at the Temple. Twice a day it was burned on the altar of incense. Its scent rose straight up out of the Temple and then settled down over the whole city of Jerusalem and all the cities around it. It covered over the very earthly scents in those cities.
Jesus came to be our Great High Priest. He offered His life as a sweet-smelling sacrifice. His death and resurrection do more than cover our very earthly scent. He washes us clean from all the dirt, grime, uncleanness, and unrighteousness we have walked in.
So, this Christmas as you walk into stores or homes and smell the sweet scents of cinnamon or pumpkin or peppermint, or perhaps even frankincense, remember that Jesus brings more sweetness than that to our otherwise smelly lives.
Breathe in His scent. It is one of the Christmas gifts.