Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Today, January 6th is Epiphany (Greek for "to manifest" or "to show"), 12 days after Christmas, the time "they" say it took for the Three Wise Men, the Magi, to travel to see Baby Jesus.

As the story goes, the Three Kings brought gifts of gold, frankincense (incense) and myrrh (an anointing/holy oil).

Woohoo and her friends recently sat at our breakfast bar and had the same conversation I remember having in my youth.

"Why would you bring a baby gold, frankincense and myrrh? Especially a POOR baby? Wouldn't you bring him blankets and toys, things he could actually use?

I tried to explain what my mother explained to me, once upon a time, that the gifts were symbolic, and best not thought of so literally.


Gold symbolizes good vs. evil, as well as royalty.

Frankincense represents divinity.

Myrrh symbolizes His death, and crown of thorns.

Some people call today Three Kings Day.

The Irish call it "Little Christmas."

When someone "wakes up," starts to "get it," we say they've had an epiphany.

The Hindu have a similar word that means "visions of the divine."

Whatever you want to call it, and whatever religion/tradition you do or do not follow, it's cool, don't you think?

A day where we celebrate arriving at a new understanding? Catching a glimpse of the divine?

And thinking about what symbols represent our own lives?

* Photo from www.justcardsdirect.com


deb said...

Cool, I didn't know this. There's a day for epiphanies.

Lori said...

It IS cool. :))

Jamie said...

I agree it is super cool!

Michelle O'Neil said...

What a nice little lesson! Thank you!

Deb Shucka said...

There was a ton here I didn't know. I love how you made all these great connections.

In the great kids' book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the kids who play the three wise men give the baby Jesus a ham. In fact it's the ham that would have been the Christmas dinner for their (very poor) family.

Wanda said...

Frankincense (aka) boswellia and Myrrh both have medicinal properties, as well. So they brought him money and a first aid kit. Works for me.

Skyelarke said...

intersting thots...

Angie Ledbetter said...

Very cool. And I hope your household receives many more gifts than 3 from wise "men" this year. :)

Kathryn Magendie said...

Over here from Angie's site -- now I know something I did not know! T'anks! :)

She said...

I like what Wanda said!

You are also a great teacher, forever informing us!