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Three Wise Men! It's ESSENTIAL!!
"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. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route."
~ Matthew 2:11
This week, The Heart Beet reports on three wise guys. Mary Kent bears gifts, telling us all a little more about what these smart men came to bring!
Wise men. Three wise men. Wise men from the East. Three kings. Men bearing gifts. Three gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh brought to the Christ Child by men called the Magi. A few lines in the Gospel of Matthew give us so very little information about these magical men, yet we know they came bearing expensive incenses, oils, and heavy metals to worship a baby called and prophesized to save us all from this fallen world that we inhabit. I am fascinated by the stories of the Bible and have only recently become a bit more acquainted with its teachings that speak of prophecies, dreams, visions, miracles, and faith. I grew up seeing nativity scenes all over the place, but can honestly say I never really knew much about those wise guys and the gifts they travelled so far to bring. But, being older and much wiser myself, I am always longing to learn more. So, who were they? Why did they come? And, what did they bring? Religious experts don't agree across the board on the names of the wise men, but Western Christianity refers to them as Melchior, Caspar, and Balthasar. Though the names change in different teachings, there is a definite agreement on what type of peoples they were. Guided by a star, we know these priestly men could read the stars and were most definitely astrologers of some type. In Biblical days, astrology was considered more of a science than it was a witchy craft! The name Magi, a Latin plural form of the word magos in Greek comes to mean magic, which includes astrology, alchemy, and other forms of esoteric knowledge. In history, great kings and queens have always consulted with astrologers to seek higher forms of divine wisdom and guidance. Queen Elizabeth I was famous for her consultations with her personal astrologer, Dr. John Dee. So, these royal practitioners, whether they were kings or priests, of things deemed to be witchcraft by the modern day church are the exact men who came bearing expensive gifts to honor the miraculous and special child of Christ. How very fascinating!
They came bearing Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh, all three gift offerings given to a king. With such wisdom behind these men, there had to be some pretty good reasons why they chose these three gifts to bear! So here's a little bit of information behind the gifts:
Gold. One of the wise men, thought to be Melchior, came from India, where gold was a highly sought-after precious metal. Gold, a chemical element with the symbol Au, has long been used by royals in ornamentation, jewelry, and the making of crowns. Thus, Gold would have been a perfect gift for honoring the newborn King of the Jews. However, it is quite possible that Gold was brought for medicinal purposes as it was believed by many to hold powerful healing powers.
Frankincense. Balthazar, the second wise man, who came from the lands of the Queen of Sheba was said to have brought Frankincense. Used as an aromatic resin obtained from Boswellia tree, Frankincense came from the Northern part of Africa and was traded for more than 5000 years. In a perfume, incense, and in aromatherapy, it has a sweet aroma that invokes a certain inner calm that is quite impressive. I recently tried some Frankincense oil from Young Living and found the oil to be rather sweet in fragrance. I think it activated a place of stillness in me that was definitely needed during the Christmas holidays! Used in religious ceremonies for thousands of years, this oil is known as the "holy annointing oil" in the Middle East. It is quite possible this oil was used to annoint the Christ Child by these priestly kings. Medicinally, Frankincense is said to heal minor aches, clear the lungs, assist in skin irritations, and assists with memory and mental clarity. Filled with something called sesquiterpenes, Frankincense oil greatly assists the parts of the brain that handle our emotions such as the hypothalmus, the pineal, and the pituitary glands. It works wonders for depression and stress. Just add a few drops on the wrists and behind the ears! This oil should definitely be in everyone's medicine cabinet.
Myrrh. Gaspar, who came from Ethiopia, brought Myrrh, as the land was full of this incredibly valuable resin. Coming from the Commiphora species of trees, Myrrh is used in parfumes, oils, and as a medicine. It has long been considered just as precious, as the other Christed gift, Gold. The ancient Egyptians used Myrrh in the embalming of mummies and it was a treatment for people suffering from skin wounds and other skin irritations. Also, a miracle worker for the emotions, Myrrh helps to ease depression and other emotional disturbances. In modern day health, Myrrh is used in many mouthwashes and toothpastes. Look for it at the health food store! Also, Myrrh comes in oil form. Again, Young Living makes the highest grade oils on the market! Expensive, but worth every penny. Click here to read about Young Living! What a company!
The gifts also hold a high level of spiritual meaning behind each of them. Gold symbolizes a royal place of kingship here on Earth. Frankincense, since it is an incense, symbolizes the priestly or divine aspect of the Christ. And, Myrrh, used as an embalming oil, symbolizes death. So, perhaps, the three wise men brought the perfect gifts to Jesus to symbolize his birth, his place in Heaven and Earth, and his death. Their reasons we will never know exactly, but these gifts have long held their position in Biblical teachings and the importance they played in honoring the Christ within this child will never be forgotten.
Hope your holiday was filled with many wonderful gifts!! Merry Late Christmas! And, Happy New Year! Listen to your Heart Beet. Stay tuned for next week.
PS. Thank you to Peg Averyt of Finleaf Gallery. Her three wise men are family treasures made by her great aunt.
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