Sunday, January 6, 2019

Heartfelt Gifts

Today is the Epiphany of the Lord when the magi (three kings or wise men) “were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother.  They prostrated themselves and did him homage.  Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.”  Some have said the magi’s identity as kings came about later in Christian writings and was probably linked to Psalm 72:11, "May all kings fall down before him.”

Myrrh was commonly used as an anointing oil; frankincense as a perfume; and gold as a valuable.  Gold was a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense (an incense) as a symbol of deity, and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death.  Gold also symbolizes virtue, frankincense as prayer, and myrrh as suffering.  There is much to this three-kings-gifts tradition.

What gifts did we bring to Mary and the child?   What star did we follow to realize that the Christ-child is with us now?  Our dismal fall/early-winter Cape Cod weather made the star(s) absent from our view.   We had to follow our hearts that led to our hearths, homes, and church – Christ the King.

Throughout 2019 we must open our treasures – kindness, compassion, understanding, and love – to offer them to those who need us.   These are not normally thought of as “kingly” treasures.   They are heartfelt and better gifts far superior to gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 

Deacon David Pierce

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please THINK before you write!