December 21st – Presents!!!


It’s what Christmas is all about! (Well almost!)

You can tell a lot about someone from the presents they ask for and you can tell a lot about someone from the presents others give to them.

Now the gifts Jesus were given by the visiting Wise Men from foreign lands weren’t asked for.  But they are VERY significant.

Gold – in those days Gold was very rare.  Much rarer than it is now and its still pretty rare.  Gold was a gift given only to royalty – to Kings.  The Wise Men came looking for “the child to be born King of the Jews”.  Jesus was marked as a King even before his birth.

Frankincense – In many Catholic and Anglo Catholic Churches today the worshippers use Incense as a visual sign of their prayers and worship.  Incense has been used for hundreds, even thousands of years as part of Worship.  Again, Frankincense was very expensive – it would be a very costly gift and a very strange one to give to a child.  Frankincense was only used by Priests as part of worship or offered to God himself.  So this gift of incense is either a gift to a Priest or to God himself – in Jesus case – maybe both?

Myrrh – This is a baby gift in VERY poor taste.  Imagine turning up to a Baby Shower with a little coffin, or a prepaid funeral plan.  You wouldn’t be very popular would you.  But that’s just what a gift of Myrrh would be like.  It is another expensive oil used to prepare bodies for burial.  It is probably one of the “spices” the women brought to Jesus’ tomb to anmnoint him with when they discovered he had risen from the dead.  Death and suffering go hand in hand with Myrrh.  What a peculiar gift to give to a baby.

Presents!  But presents that tell us a huge amount about this child.  Gold for a King, Frankincense for God, and Myrrh for one who was to die to save the whole world.

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