Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

The Gifts of the Magi

January 6 is a Christian holiday known as Epiphany. Besides being the twelfth day of Christmas, we remember the visit of the Magi or the Wise Men with the Christ child. They brought gifts and they have significant meaning.

Gold is precious across all nations and cultures. It is fit for royalty and said to the Christ child, You will be a King.

Frankincense is a milky sap tapped from the Boswellia tree and is known for its calming, restorative, and meditative properties. Ancient people burned Frankincense, believing it carried their prayers to Heaven. This gift illustrates Christ’s role as Priest.

Myrrh is the resin produced by a small, tough, scraggly tree that grows in semi-desert regions along the Red Sea. It is known as a wound healer because of its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Yet the most popular use is as an embalming ointment. After Jesus died on the cross, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea anointed Jesus’ body with myrrh. This is the gift that signifies Jesus as our Savior.

Epiphany commemorates the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi. For more fascinating information regarding the gifts of the Magi, follow this link: http://www.magi-gifts.com/significance.html

Application–The gifts of the Magi inspired the annual tradition of Christmas gift giving. What gift did you give or receive this Christmas that has lasting value?

Prayer–Thank you, Father God, for the greatest gift of all, the gift of love in Your Son and our Lord Jesus. Help us to love as you do so others may come to know your love too. Amen.

Advertisements

Christmas Traditions

Does your family have special things they do every Christmas? At my house before we open presents, we share what it was like the very first Christmas by using a small nativity. Then we sing a few carols. Then we open presents.

In Lebanon children make “caves and cribs” out of clay. In front of the dome-like cave are figures of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. Each child plants seeds in the top soil surrounding the the nativity scene. They water the soil for two weeks and guess what happens? Grass begins to surround the clay cave, Mary, Joseph and Jesus. It represents new life–the new life we experience because Jesus came to earth and loved us enough to save us from our sins.

In Mexico for nine nights before Christmas, families visit three homes, singing Christmas carols. Then a young man dressed like Joseph asks if there is room for his wife and him to stay. The answer is “no” and Joseph explains that his wife is about to have a baby. The answer is still “no.” This also happens at the second house. When the family sings carols at the third house and Joseph again pleas for a place to stay, the host of that home invites them in and the party begins, including a pinata, gifts and dancing.

“I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

What are your Christmas traditions? Would you write them in a comment here on my blog? Thank you and Merry, Merry Christmas.