Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Eleventh Day of Christmas

For the eleventh day of Christmas, we read Matthew 2:11:

"On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh."

(To see the whole passage, go to: Matthew 2:1-12)

They have arrived, And the first thing they do is bow down and worship. Keep in mind these men aren't Jews. If they were indeed from Persia, they would likely have been followers of Zoroaster (or in their language, Zarathushtra as in Also Sprach Zarathustra of 2001 fame). So it would seem that from their perspective this wasn't their God.

But they recognized him and they worshipped.

They also opened their treasures and gave him gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold was for royalty. Frankincense was burned for deities. Myrrh was used in the wrappings of bodies at burial and also in ointments for healing. Were these given specifically because he was King, God and Sacrifice or were they given because they were treasure? Possibly both.

Worship and giving. Two of the hallmarks of Christmas, right here at the beginning. The Wise Men have again set us quite an example.

Merry Christmas!!

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