Friday, December 25, 2009
GOLD, FRANKINCENSE, and MYRRH
Anyway, when the Wise Men realized they were lost, they asked King Herod for directions, but he turned out not to be a good person to ask because (1) he didn't know where the Baby Jesus was either, and (2) if he had known, he would have gone there and personally killed the baby himself. So the Wise Men went back to following the star, and finally they found the Baby Jesus, at which point they gave the baby some gifts that they had brought with them all the way from wherever they lived in The East.
There are several interesting things that we could discuss about this story, like for instance, whether it actually happened or not. But Mom said if I talked about that, I might open a whole can of worms. I would not want to do that because worms are not very tasty to eat. If I could open a whole can of tuna, I would do it in an instant, but Mom says that is not an option, even though I know for a fact that she has some cans of tuna in a cabinet in the kitchen.
When I look at this list, I start wondering how wise the Wise Men really were, and whether they had ever had any babies of their own. Well, okay, gold is a pretty good gift because you can buy a lot of practical baby stuff with gold, but frankincense and myrrh are not the kinds of things you see at most baby showers. Instead, you see stuff like onesies and Pampers and teething rings and soft toys that play lullabies when you wind them up.
Anyway, what people used myrrh for was mostly as an ointment for dead bodies so that they wouldn't smell so bad. And people also burned it as incense and put it in perfume or in wine. Nowadays myrrh is still used sometimes in stuff like toothpaste or lotion.
So now you know what frankincense and myrrh are. I guess they were okay gifts because they were expensive and could be used in some important ways. But I still think a baby would have liked getting something more fun, like a rattle or a maybe a puppy.