In 2012, we watched the London Olympics. It was one of the highlights of 2012 in sports. It made me wish I was a young boy again with a ﬂexible body. I used to do acroba cs during my high school days but no more. Can you imagine how those Olympians prac ced winning the gold for themselves and their countries? They spent endless hours swea ng, rehearsing, and accep ng correc ons from their coaches.
Did you see Usain Bolt, the Jamaican who is considered the fastest man alive? What about the US women gymnasts? They won gold. I cannot forget the admiration that greeted those young ladies when I saw them on The Late Show w/ David Letterman. Dave teased them, drilled them with questions and even oﬀered to go to the next Olympics just to get the gold like they did. The audience went into laughter. I did also in my little room facing my TV. Gold is precious and if you win gold you can appear on many TV shows both at home and abroad. At the end of the London Olympics, America came in ﬁrst with 104 medals, followed by the People's Republic of China with 88 medals and in third place was the Russian Federation with 82 medals. Great Britain, the host nation, came in fourth with 65.
I cannot imagine the happiness of all the Olympic medalists. I wished I was among them. Presidents showered them with gifts, CEOs gave them free offers and their families were happy. The mother of Michael Phelps, the American gold medalist in swimming, was ready to go to Rio de Janeiro by 2016 Olympics to cheer on her son. What a spectacular thing to see your mother among your fans at the Olympics!
Today is also a spectacular celebration. It is the celebration of the Epiphany of the Lord! This celebration comes with lots of hopes. The Epiphany is simply the "appearance" or "manifestation" of the Lord in what we refer to as the Incarnation, the enfleshment of God. In the readings we see how the Wise Men traveled from the east to locate Jesus. When they did, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These gifts are important because gold signifies the kingship of Jesus; frankincense signifies his priestly duties, and myrrh his burial spices. Isaiah 60:6 tells of nations and kings who will bring gifts of gold and frankincense to praise the Lord. Indeed, Jesus was adored by these Wise Men who saw his star and came to do him homage unlike Herod who wanted to kill him. Have you imagined the birth of Jesus in a poor manger in Bethlehem of Judea without any fanfare or celebration? It was only the Wise Men who came to oﬀer homage to the King of kings and Lord of lords. Have you ever imagined the plans God has for you? Have you ever imagined that your birth is an important event in your family's life? Unless you are born you cannot be counted as a member of your family. Jesus' birth is the beginning of a new chapter in the life of the world. His birth is the sign of salvation for those who call upon his Name. We are all incorporated into God's family by his birth. His power transcends all worldly powers and It is only He who can bring peace to your troubled heart. What the Lord is asking of you is to bring him the gift of yourself. Do not run away from the Lord because he loves you. John 3: 16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he sent his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." The life that Jesus offers to you will allow you to be counted among the saints for all ages to come. You need to trust the little baby, the King who is born to save us.
Gold is important and most precious to those who have it, but salvation is the ultimate and most precious gift for our eternal life. Not all of us can go to the next Olympics but we are invited to God's eternal love which never diminishes. Like the Olympians, we too need to smile and practice to win the gold. The only exception is that the gold we aim to possess is eternal life, which cannot be quantified by precious metal. The Wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus, what about you? Do you want to give the gift of yourself for your eternal redemption with Jesus? Begin the journey today, for tomorrow may be too late. Please make next year the year of God's abundant gifts for you. I wish you God's choicest gifts. Keep smiling!BACK TO LIST