Gold. Frankincense. Myrrh.
According to various sources, these gifts had significance, if only because they were commonly given as gifts to a king. Others believe they had spiritual significance: gold as a symbol of kingship, frankincense as a symbol of priestship, and myrrh as a symbol of death.
Whatever the reason, they seem unusual gifts to give to a Child - and particularly to One born in a stable. King? He was lying in a manger - who would believe it? Priest? His father was a carpenter. Death? Sure, we'll all die one day.
Where were the hand-made rattles, the garments lovingly stitched, a year's supply of disposable nappies, something that could make a young mother's life easier?
What was Mary going to do with such gifts? In fact, what did she do?
Perhaps such gifts - apart from causing amusement for doting parents at Nativity plays in the English-speaking world when one child slips up and says Frankenstein instead of frankincense - remind us that this Child was different ... this Child was special ... and He was born so that He would one day die for us all ... He was born to be a priest in the order of Melchizedek ... He was born to one day be King over all the earth.
And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him:
“ The LORD has sworn
And will not relent,
‘ You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek’”),
by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. Hebrews 7:20-22, NKJV