Christmas, the season of giving, but why? Well, the easy and obvious reason is that Christ was the ultimate gift to mankind. Now there are lots of religious folks out there with a lot of views on religion, and I do not mean to disrespect anyone’s views. But if we are talking about gifts at Christmas, that requires Christ. So I venture to say that we are talking about Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords. And what exactly were his gifts and what gifts parallel those timeless gifts today?
The first gift was the gift on gold. Gold has been honored as the most precious metal since Day One. There are other precious metals that cost more than gold, platinum and rhodium for instance, yet gold retains its historical distinction as the most collected precious metal. So why did a King bring gold to the Baby Jesus? Gold was a sign of Jesus’ kingship over Earth, since Gold is an element of the earth. Symbolic and powerful, gold was then, and still is today, a symbol of importance, of rule, of power, over men.
The second gift from a King was frankincense. Frankincense was a priceless incense in Biblical times. Derived from the Boswellia tree sap, it is allowed to dry and harden and then scrapped off the tree bark. It can be chewed like a gum, but was usually used as a fragrance or incense due to its sweet, citrusy smell. It had known healing powers back then, some of which are just being rediscovered today. It has anti-inflammatory and immunity boosting agents, along with a belief that it is a digestive aid and potent infection fighter, among other things. So it too was something that had power over man, just as the Son of God would come to this world to offer us. While I’ll take Jesus’ healing powers over any worldly methods, He put those things on this earth to give us the power to help ourselves as well.
The third King brought myrrh. Probably the least understood of the three gifts, it is much like frankincense in that it is gathered from the sap of a tree, the Commiphora tree. Unlike Frankincense, Myrrh has a bitter, piney smell, which was valued by the people of that time as an embalming fluid to cover the odor of death. However bitter it was, it was and is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, antiviral drug. It worked to relieve coughs, colds and sore throats, as well as relieving congestion and phlegm. The two fragrances covered life and death of the human body, but Jesus freed us of that bondage at death. The Wise Men knew that.
So what similar gifts would three Wise Men bring the newborn King today? I suggest water. Pure, unadulterated water with no pollution, no contamination. And then put the water into a plastic bottle that clogs up our oceans and landfills. Because modern man is still going to make a mess of things, even with good intentions. So we still need Jesus.
Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar would be the second gift. Called the “Mother of Vinegar”, it’s over 100 years old, is unpasteurized and according to its adherents, it cures most everything. Among it’s claims is that you’ll naturally lose weight if you take a couple of tablespoons before meals. Part of the reason is that the taste of the stuff takes away your will to live, but that is a personal issue with me. Acknowledging that even Bragg’s doesn’t cure everything, we still need Jesus.
Finally, depending on one’s preference, the final gift should be Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant. Want the answer to anything? Ask them. Well, almost anything. The answer to eternal peace and happiness are beyond their reach. We still need Jesus.
Merry Christmas. May the gift of Jesus be your desire this Christmas season.