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