Sorry I'm running a bit late this week. Work was crazy and I'm not smart/organized enough to plan my blogs ahead. At any rate, this week, I wanted to (surprise!) explore some themes to do with the holiday season.
We’ve all heard about the miraculous conception and birth of the baby Jesus. How the three wise men each brought a gift—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But why those three items in particular? Why not an ancient onesee or extra swaddling clothes or a rattle? In the next few Mysterious Mondays, I plan on finding out more about these gifts and why the wise men thought them to be proper gifts for a new baby.
We’ll start this week with everyone’s favorite—gold. Gold has been a symbol of purity and wealth for millennia. Men fight over it; women crave it. Not me so much, but I’m weird; personally, I prefer silver. There is no denying the powerful draw of gold, though. Countries use it to back up their currency; in times of economic upheaval, gold is the currency that remains steady or at least useful.
Why this popularity? Could it be that, like the popular girl in high school, people like gold just because it’s pretty? No, gold has more depth than that. Gold is like the pretty girl who, when you get to know her, is interesting, too—fun, intelligent, athletic, spiritual.
Gold, when used in wedding bands, symbolizes purity; the band itself is a representation of the nature of true love—neverending. I am not a very good Christian, but I grew up in a Christian household, and I can tell you right now that my minister would say that this is like God's love.
Gold is said to reflect the wearer’s inner beauty and to fill the wearer with positive feelings; used as a talisman, it is said to ward off negative energy. But who would have wanted to harm the baby Jesus? Oh, that's right, that nasty Herod dude. And I don't imagine that the denizens of Hell were real pleased at his birth, either.
In medicinal uses, gold has also been shown to help alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and to help with digestive ills. Don't know what that has to do with baby Jesus, but maybe it kept him from being colicky.
Gold has also been associated with gods and kings, a symbol of their power, their strength, and their wealth. In that light alone, what better choice is there for a gift for a newborn king of Heaven?
Next week, I'll learn more about everyone's favorite tree sap next to maple syrup—frankincense.