Gifts

Matthew 2:1-12-I am still recovering so this is my first in a while and I may not post again til feeling better.

The story of the wise men coming has given us a profusion of stories and speculation.  It is a story that captures our imaginations, following a star for a promised newborn hope. A new king, a new reign, one of peace and one tied to death. We cannot read this story without being aware of the slaughter of babies that follows it just a few verses later. Nor can we read it and not be aware of the gifts the wise ones brought gold, frankincense and myrrh. The frankincense and myrrh were used to anoint dead bodies and yet they are used to welcome this king whose birth is attached to a star. An incredible story. 
 
So much has been written about it. Because it not only ties us to the promised king of peace, it also ties us to healing. The prophet Jeremiah tells us this morning that all will be gathered to God even the blind, the lame, the one with child and those in labor (Jeremiah 31:8). These are brought together because of the promise of return, of healing after being slaves and captives in a foreign country. The wise men come from far away seeking not this earthly king as Herod does to destroy, but to bring healing in these gifts. It has been speculated the gold was used for the flight into Egypt to save baby Jesus' life. The others were a sign of this not so worldly kingdom and the promise of pain and then healing even in that.

The thing is at Christmastide when we say that God became incarnate, when we seek God in the face of Jesus through others, through ourselves we are engaged in healing promise. Healing isn't just outward it is inward too, that is if we dare to make the encounter to know ourselves more deeply and to know God with us. I have healing oils I use in my ministry, there are times I like to take them out to smell them in the air. They are simple things, essential oils bought at the health store, olive oil bought at the grocery store and mixing them together is like a balm. It takes me to all the times I myself have needed healing, out under the stars at night, my only refuge from pain and abuse. It also takes me to all the stories of healing I have read.

Let us dare to step out on love's healing shore. Mending ourselves and others we have wronged. Let us be the agents of the fragrance of your love. Sought written in ancient knowledge and stars. Let us heal all that we can in a broken and hurting world and remember the over-arching steadfast love of God come down in Jesus is for all.