Never Gold Enough
weekly devotions to refresh your soul by Dr. Dan Bolin - December 20, 2022
Reginald Heber was only 42 when he died in 1826. He is primarily remembered for composing the majestic hymn, Holy, Holy, Holy. But often overlooked is his moving and insightful Christmas carol, Brightest and Best.
His third stanza paints a vivid picture of the Magi’s gifts to baby Jesus. In the following verse he reflects.
Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gifts would his favor secure;
Richer by far is the heart’s adoration,
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.
Giving God money, service, or obedience is commendable, but ineffective in winning His approval. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh are never enough to curry God’s favor.
The heart of Christmas is not what we give to others or to God; rather the essence is what He has given us. Jesus explained the Christmas story to Nicodemus in simple, profound and familiar terms, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Gift-giving is a significant part Christmas, not because of the Wise Men’s model or to curry God’s favor, but because of God the Father’s magnanimous gift of His only Son.
Author & President
Refueling in Flight Ministries, Inc.
Listen to Brightest & Best with Keith and Kristyn Getty
Brightest and Best
by Reginald Heber
Brightest and best of the sons of the morning, dawn on our darkness and lend us your aid. Star of the east, the horizon adorning, guide where our infant Redeemer is laid. Cold on his cradle the dewdrops are shining; low lies his head with the beasts of the stall. Angels adore him in slumber reclining, maker and monarch and Savior of all. Shall we yield him in costly devotion rarest of fragrances, tribute divine, gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean, myrrh from the forest and gold from the mine? Vainly we offer each ample oblation, vainly with gifts would his favor secure. Richer by far is the heart's adoration, dearer to God are the prayers of the poor. Brightest and best of the sons of the morning, dawn on our darkness and lend us your aid. Star of the east, the horizon adorning, guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.