Christmas. It’s the season of lights, family, decorations, food, parties (not so much during Covid-19), and gift-giving. More importantly, it’s the time of year we celebrate some of the miracles of Jesus Christ.
The Immaculate Conception.
The Virgin Birth.
The heavenly hosts praised God.
The shepherds hurried to see the child.
I get that, the excitement, the anticipation, what a fantastic time that must have been!
I like it when the magi sought the Messiah and brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Many believe the tradition of giving gifts on Christmas came from the actions of these fine men.
Have you ever considered why those specific gifts? I get the gold. Joseph and Mary could use it to pay for their sudden trip to Egypt. It was God the Father’s way of protecting His Son. God always has a plan.
Frankincense was closely related to the worshipping of a diety. That makes sense since Jesus was Immanuel, God in the flesh. When the magi gave frankincense, they were acknowledging Jesus as the coming King, the Messiah.
But what about myrrh? First of all, it’s a strange-sounding word. The spelling is odd as well.
When I was younger, I loved the song, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” But every time I hear the word myrrh, I immediately start singing, “We wish you a myrrhy Christmas, we wish you a myrrhy Christmas, we wish you a myrrhy Christmas and a happy New Year.” I know it’s immature, but that’s what I do.
When I got older, I looked at myrrh’s more profound meaning and how it tied to Jesus. Myrrh was used to anoint a body for burial. It kept the body from smelling bad. The magi gave a gift they knew would be used in his final days on this earth. Myrrh ties the Christmas story to the Easter story.
Myrrh is a reminder that Jesus came to die for our sins. It reminds us of the pain and suffering he endured for the forgiveness of our sins. Myrrh is a symbol of God’s mercy and grace displayed on the cross and in the tomb.
Now, when I’m singing, “We wish you a myrrhy Christmas,” it has much more meaning for me. I still chuckle when I sing it, but it also makes me ponder on all that Jesus did for me. May the word and the gift of myrrh remind you of all that Jesus did and continues to do for you.
Have Myrrhy Christmas and a happy New Year!