Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Significance of Holiday Gifts, Part 3

     During this frenzied, final week of holiday gift-buying, let's take a moment of repose and reflection and look at the final gift Jesus received on the first Christmas.  Let's look at myrrh.

     Myrrh is a reddish-brown dried sap that comes from a thorny tree, Commiphora myrrha, which grows in northeastern Africa and southwest Asia.  Steam distillation of the sap creates an oil which is brown in color and has an earthy scent.  In folk medicine, it can be used for pain, infections, and skin sores [NOTE: do not ingest this oil].  In Jesus' time, it was used for embalming.  In this sense, the Magi were honoring the mortality of the newborn.

     So often, we forget that we are all mortal.  We will all eventually leave this earthly plane.  Allow this thought to color how you treat others, not by being maudlin, but by treating each interaction as if it could be your or their last.  Each moment counts.  Each word counts.  Don't let pettiness and stress get in the way of that realization.  Live in each moment.  Honor the present.  Be the beauty that our world needs.

(photo courtesy of

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