The Strange Gifts
Church News | Monday, 8 January 2018 |
Epiphany is when the kings or wise men travelled to Jerusalem to visit the baby Jesus. We don’t know who these wise men were or how many travelled to the stable, but we do know that they were not Jews but Gentiles, mystics perhaps, or philosophers’, we really don’t know. But as Revd Diana said in her address at the 10.30am Family Service, they most certainly went to the Christ Child in order to prove that not only is Jesus the light of the world, but also to reveal his birth to the world.
The wise men were very astute and knowledgeable, and must have been aware that this poor Jewish baby was no ordinary infant, for when they became conscious of the amazing star that guided them to the stable they payed homage to the little family and offered them gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, realising that God uses weakness to demonstrate the power of his wisdom.
Revd Diana, called some of the children forward to show them the type of gifts that the wise men presented to the baby Jesus. Gabby held a dish of gold baubles to represent the richness of Gold. Gold is for special things like rings and jewellery, items that people treasure. Gold also comes from the earth to represent the fact that Jesus came to earth and was fully human. Frankincense is a herb that grows on trees and when it is dried and a flame is introduced it has a strong aroma and sends up billows of white smoke that slowly rise towards heaven, somewhat like our own prayers. The herb is precious and represents Jesus as being divine, it is used to help us worship God. Myrrh is a resin from a tree and is also precious for it is used for anointing, cleaning wounds and preparing bodies for burial. The gifts were rather strange items to present to a young baby, but they foretold the fact that Jesus was beyond precious, and that he would suffer and die for his earthly people and heavenly King.
Revd Carolyn blessed the oil of myrrh and anointed Revd Diana for her commitment to Jesus and proceeded to anoint many of those in the congregation too.