At Christmas time we celebrate the joy of birth — the birth of Jesus and the birth of the Christ consciousness within us. And yet, in this time of newness, we also find a reminder of the impermanence of life.
The third wise man presented the gift of Myrrh to the baby Jesus. Myrrh was a slightly pungent oil derived from a gum resin. It was used to anoint a body during the embalming process. As such, it is symbolic of death.
Metaphysically, the gift of Myrrh represents the eternal nature of the Spirit. It reminds us of our own dual nature. We are both fully human and fully divine. On the human level, all things are transient, here for a moment or a season and then gone. And on the level of Spirit, all things are eternal and we are eternally alive in God.
The gift of Myrrh invites us to open ourselves to the process of release and renewal. It invites us to honor our conflicting feelings – grief at letting go of the familiar, anxiety at facing the unknown, excitement as we consider the new opportunities opening up, and peace as we remember that we are all eternally One in Spirit.
Let us to come together in love, peace and connection as we support each other through this time of change, remaining centered in Spirit and holding each other in the light.
In the Christmas tradition, three wise men visited the infant Jesus and presented him with gifts. The second wise man presented the gift of Frankincense.
Frankincense is a fragrant gum resin used in incense and perfumes. According to the Hebrew Bible, frankincense was one of several components of the holy incense ritually burned in Jerusalem’s sacred temples during ancient times. When incense is burned, it emits a fragrant vapor which can be sensed, but not seen. As such, it is symbolic of Spirit, which also can be sensed but not seen.
Metaphysically, the gift of frankincense represents the beauty of the Spirit. Just as the incense adds a beautiful fragrance to our environment, the awareness of spirit adds beauty and color to our daily lives. Wherever we are, there is always some form of beauty. We only have to open our senses to it.
Continue reading The Gift of Frankincense
The Wise Men’s journey was a journey toward greater spiritual understanding. When they finally found themselves in the presence of the Christ, they gave the baby gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts represented an outpouring of their souls.
The joy of Christmas is that it is a giving season. We each have our own gifts to share. And when we give, we give both outer gifts and inner gifts. The material gift is a symbol of a deeper gift of the Spirit. With every outer gift, we also give the gift of love, of prayer, of faith, of peace. As we wrap our gifts in colorful paper and bows, we also wrap them with our love.
Metaphysically, the gift of gold represents the riches of the Spirit. On the material level, it reminds us that we are part of a living flow of divine abundance and enoughness. On the spiritual level, it reminds us that we are blessed with “Gifts of the Spirit” – knowledge, wisdom, prophecy, faith, healing, and more.
As we make our own journey to discover the Christ within us, we step into that eternal flow of giving and receiving.
Each time we give from the soul, we honor God and the sacred child of God that each person is.
“In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.’” Luke: 2:1-14
Today is the second Sunday of the Advent season, and the focus of this day and the week that follows is Peace.
So, as I’ve been preparing to give this lesson, I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about peace. What do we mean when we say ‘peace’? If you ask most people, they will agree that they want peace, that peace is a good thing. But if you dig deeper, you will find that people have very different ideas as to what that peace looks like.
Continue reading What does Peace mean to you?