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Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Journey: the Three Wise Men Christmas Eve

Balthasar, Melchior and Caspar (The Magi)

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, Behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.

The First Wise man was Balthazar; his gift to the Christ Child was Frankincense. Frankincense is a fragrant, resinous exudation of various species of Boswella. It was imported into Judaea from Arabia. It is an ingredient in the holy incense for sacrificial purposes and was highly valued as perfume.

The Second Wise Man was Melchior; his gift to the Christ Child was Gold. His gift was used to help Mary and Joseph to go to Egypt with Jesus when Herod was searching for him. Gold was very valuable.

The Third Wise Man was Caspar; his gift to the Christ Child was Myrrh. Myrrh was used for embalming. It was obtained from various thorny shrubs of the dry districts of Arabia and Eastern Africa. Myrrh is the gum of the rockrose.

It is Christmas Eve, the day my family gets together to celebrate the coming of the Savior of all.

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