January 6, 2013

January 6th – the day following the “twelfth day of Christmas” – is commonly known as the Feast of the Epiphany, celebrating the visit of the Three Wise Men to pay homage to Christ Child with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

The Three Wise Men

There were three wise men one night
All were laying low out of sight
And watching their flocks by night
When suddenly they had a great fright

As they were seated on the ground
Came light shone within the bound
An angel of the Lord came down
With glory shone as lights in town

Then came a voice that said fear not
The men listened and this they’ve got
A message determined each man’s lot
To the ground right where they’d sat

While the angel hovered like a dove
Allured the men they looked above
Then in the sky they had seen a star
The brightest star ever seen by far

And then this they were told
For unto you a Child is born today
He is the Saviour Christ the Lord
They brought Him gifts and gold

Just hold…more to be told….

— Clarence Prince

Hat tip: Poemhunter.com

Although I might sound completely out of touch in this most decidedly post-Christian era I happen to believe God calls each of us, in His own infinite goodness and in full knowledge of our inherent weaknesses and sinfulness, to bring our own gifts to the One who ever so patiently and earnestly waits for each of us to open the doors of our hearts to Him.

We don’t have to offer material gifts in the tradition of the Three Wise Men; instead of gold, frankincense and myrrh, we can offer the gifts of an open heart to accept and embrace God’s unfailing and never-ending love for us, an open mind to accept that we who think of ourselves as so enlightened and sophisticated not only don’t have all the answers but don’t even know all the questions, and the humility of our souls, recognizing that neither we nor anyone else around us is perfect and worthy of God’s love, yet He loves us in a way far beyond our own ability to understand and comprehend. The world we live in is a cruel and hard place, one of our own making; nevertheless, God loves each of us not because we are inherently and actually good, but because God Himself is inherently and actually good.

And God has given each one of us far greater gifts than the gifts presented by the Three Wise Men could ever satisfy: a Creation that surrounds us in all its incredible and subtle beauty and power, and (as hard as it might be to believe) each other, through which we can share the truly unique combination of gifts, skills, and talents we’ve been given to love, embrace, and support one another.

On this “Little Christmas” may we take a few moments to contemplate that unique set of gifts and talents each of us has been given by God and how we can use them for the benefit of others and make the world a better place.

I have a sneaking suspicion God would prefer that to gold, frankincense and myrrh, anyways.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 00:34 | Comments Off on Little Christmas
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