But that is just what the not-very-wise wise men brought for Jesus. No lego, no cuddly toy, no mobile phone; nothing of any use or value to the child whatsoever.
And if they looked like that, the kid would have nightmares! The astrologers from Iraq brought three items which expressed the results of their research. These meaningless (but expensive) trinkets reveal the true purpose of the Nativity.
was symbolic of Kingship : the child would grow up to be Lord and Ruler of eternity.
was a symbol of the Priesthood. In the Jewish Temple, the priest took the place of the people when he made offerings for the forgiveness of their sins. Jesus would become the new living way to God for all the earth.
As John Betjeman didn't quite write:-
The Christmas lights are lit again
LEDs shine through the night
As many a twinkling window show
Santa and unlikely snow!
Flick'ring batt'ry tea lights glow,
Bells on Seaton's tramcars clang,
In lighted shop displays they show,
Where tinsel decorations hang,
And banners on the Civic Hall
Say 'Merry Christmas to you all'.
And Seaton's shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and stars
As hurrying staff the office leave
To drink too much in crowded bars,
And well-stressed mums quietly say
I hate the toil of Christmas Day.
But halt and think; now is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,
A Baby in an ox's stall?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me?
And is it true? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those ill-wrapped fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,
No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare -
That God was man in Palestine
And lives in hearts like yours and mine.