NO CRYING AT MY FUNERAL

NO CRYING AT MY FUNERAL

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

GOLD, FRANKINCENSE AND MYRRH

THE KINGS MEET THE KING

The other day I got an idea that struck me as something that is totally new to me and had never entered into my life before.  I have been rolling it around in my gourd since then and I have finally decided to try to put it down in concrete terms.  I have to tell you that it is once again another religious thought, or at least one that takes its meaning from my interpretation and understanding of a religious event.  I do mention that it is valuable to us in our daily lives.
I happened to be thinking of the Magi, the "Three Kings" who came to visit the Baby Jesus, per the Bible story with which we are all familiar.  This event is traditionally interpreted by professional Bible scholars as the moment when God enlightened the rest of the world, outside of Palestine, concerning the universal presence of His Son in the world.  This is the New Testament announcement of the presence of God to all humankind.  God had actually taken steps to make His Chosen People realize that they had a mission to others, but they never quite caught on.  Even in politics, none of the alliances that the Israelite kings tried worked out very well.  Now, in the Gospel stories we have "kings" coming to Jesus and bringing valuable gifts.  They recognize Him as a king also and they are warned to protect Him in a spiritual way.  The same way that Joseph had received his message from God.  Gotta love those dreams!
The thought that has been rattling around in my cage is this:  by giving gifts, they came to know Him better.  By giving gifts, they came to know His reason for being better.  I get the intuition that this is a way that God has of revealing Himself to us.  I think of the Old Testament sacrifices and the expectations of God regarding them.  The demands he puts on His Chosen People (us, really) are very strict and very bold.  Offerings must be offered to Him and to Him alone.  They must be the first born, unblemished male of the flock, not the runt.  By giving the least, we show that we love ourselves more than we love the one to whom we are giving the item.  Think of Cain.  When we think of giving a gift to someone, we look into ourselves and try our very best to understand what would make the greatest impact on the recipient.  This forces us to enlighten ourselves about the person.  Even if it is our spouse; our child; our parent.  When it comes time to give a gift, we realize just how little we know of the person to whom we want to offer it.  It is in preparing for the act of giving that we delve into ourselves to try to uncover some more of the mystery of the beloved who is destined to receive a part of us.  This preparatory period even creates a change in us.  We many times feel apprehensive about how the gift will be received.  We ask ourselves if it is proper, or if it is good enough, or if it "fits".   I wonder if the Gospel writer thought of all these things before putting his story down on paper.  I bet that God was thinking of it and saw to it that we too would come to understand it at some time in our lives.
Thanks for letting me share this experience of mine with you.  Let it be one more reason why you should not offer me tears at my funeral.  By reading this, you know that it is one gift that doesn't "fit."
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