Eight centuries before the Magi from the east came bearing gifts to present to Jesus, Micah asked, "With what shall I come before the Lord and bow before God most high? Shall I come with holocausts, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with myriad streams of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my crime?" (Micah 6:6-7). The prophet gave voice to the desperation of his people, who were overwhelmed by their own sinfulness and shame.
Today, we ponder Trito-Isaiah's vision of the nations pressing toward Jerusalem, laden with gifts to offer to God, and the narrative of the Magi traveling from afar to offer gifts to Jesus. With these Scriptures in mind, we might be prompted to ask ourselves Micah's question.