Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh and What?

In the second-century Church Father Irenaeus of Lyons alluded to the role of the magi in his allegorical interpretation of the magi’s gifts. 

According to Irenaeus, the magi offered Jesus myrrh (used for anointing corpses) to indicate that he was to die and be buried for the sake of mortal humans. 

Gold, because he was a king of an eternal kingdom.

Frankincense (burnt on altars as divine offerings) because he was a god.

Years later another wrote of the preparatory wisdom of the Magi for their journey.

“How did it come to be that these men, who left their home country without having seen Jesus, and had not noticed anything in his appearance to enforce such systematic adoration, offered these particular gifts? It was the star that attracted their eyes, but the rays of truth also penetrated their hearts, so that before they started on their toilsome journey, they first understood that the One who was promised was owed gold as royalty, incense as divinity, and myrrh as mortal…and so it was of great advantage to us future people that this infant should be witnessed by these wise men.”

The Magi were referred to as being wise men descriptively, but never as a title, that is, “Wise Men.” About 300 years after their journey “Wise Men” was a title used for them. The logic expressed in the above sermon gives reason for the men who were indeed wise were entitled “Wise Men.”

There was a fourth gift accorded the infant Jesus. The Magi fell down and worshiped Him. Thus, the fourth gift given Him was worship.

Private personal devotion and worship is admirable and uplifting. Plan to include it in the new year.

Public worship in company with colleagues of similar devotion is expedient.

COVID changed our lives. Most churches were closed for a time and people got out of the habit of going to worship on Sunday. Many have not returned. Live streaming and worship services of TV have replaced public worship for many and simply un-involvement resulting in secular Sundays keeping others away.

Scripture prophetically speaks of a great falling away. Could COVID be the occasion of such?

Scripture also gives this instruction: “ …not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10: 25)

As a young minister I spoke in a church where there was a lady who could not hear. Naturally that prompted the question in my mind of why did she even bother to come. I was told she wanted to show her devotion and let everyone know of her commitment to the Lord. That is one very good reason

Give the beloved Lord your gift of public worship on a renewed basis.