Thursday, December 25, 2008

Myrrh of CHRISTmas

Often we read through the Christmas story and highlight the most spectacular parts, singing angels … “Fear Not…” statements, the Star of Bethlehem, and yes the dingy manger. YET, there are some quiet and seem less significant items to be had in the excitement.

Consider if you would, the Magi as they prepare for their trek out to find the child to whom the Star belongs. They are packing, dividing up the supplies list, then they come to the gift inventory, gold is given to the first, then frankincense handed to another, ‘O yeah, the myrrh is last’. How would YOU like to be handed the myrrh, and picture yourself bowing low, head to the floor while you offer M-Y-R-R-H (said with an Eeyore deep tone) to the King of Kings! You may think “Dude, why do I have to carry the white elephant gift???”

AH… the gifts, gold, frankincense and MYRRH. Have we ever really thought WHAT is myrrh? I can assure us all that it was not a last minute addition, or a ‘re-gifting’ of an unwanted gift.

The divine significance of myrrh:

Exodus 30:22-23 Myrrh ~ an ingredient used in the anointing oil of the Tabernacle and the priests.

Luke 7:36-50 Myrrh ~ (myron) perfumed oil/ointment poured over Jesus’ feet.

John 19:39-40 Myrrh ~ used as one of the spices to prepare Jesus’ body for burial.

Picture now, the Christ child, perhaps two in age, curly dark hair, possibly pudgy cheeks. At His feet, men of wisdom and honor now place gold, frankincense and MYRRH. The anointing oil of the TABERNACLE and THE Priest. “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us…” (John 1:14) The perfumed oil poured on His feet as a grown man, that soon would be pierced. The oil added to the spices wrapped around His body following His death.

Myrrh, how prophetic. A new appreciation for the gift.

Gifts given to Jesus have GREAT significance. It is our heart He wants. May we too bow low, offer what we may think insignificant.

Have a VERY blessed CHRISTmas!

In Him, DeDe (Ps. 92:4 “You thrill me, LORD…”)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Tree

Yep, it usually is all about the HUNT. Every year we go out as a family, roam the trees (as they ALL begin to look the same) for that ONE tree. Think about the tradition. How so very weird ... go get a live tree, cut that puppy down, strip it from its home, bring it into our house, place it in what MUST be a very uncomfortable stand, decorate it. Then pile brightly wrapped gifts under it.

The Tree... the stories it could tell, the years of standing in the field among all the other trees, some bigger, thinner, rounder, straighter, taller. The comments made about it, and the 'just pass on by' attitude. Then one day, a family comes and stands in front of it declaring 'THIS is the ONE!' The joy to be chosen! The satisfaction of purpose being fulfilled! O the joy of giving represented around that tree!

Us... standing among others, some bigger, thinner, rounder, straighter, taller. Comments made about us, and the 'just pass on by' attitude. Then one day JESUS comes and stands in front of us, declaring 'YOU are the One! The joy to be chosen! The satisfaction of purpose being fulfilled. The field now bare, because the grove keeper has transplanted them ALL!

In some ways we have much in common with the tree...

~ DeDe

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Taken for Granted Blessedness

Yesterday, sitting in a comfy purple velvet over sized chair at Starbucks, I held my laptop on my knees, balancing my spiral journal, pencil between my teeth, and a warm 'Carmel Apple Cider' drink on the table next to me. Before I knew it, 3 HOURS had passed as folks came and went, caffeine dispensed, greetings exchanged, yet to be honest, it all became a blur to me as I studied.

In my pursuit to truly get my head around my current research of what it is to be 'blessed', I was amazed at the 'unaware', or might I say 'taken for granted blessedness' there really is. In this day and age, society states a completely different list of 'blessed are...' statements contrary to the list Jesus gives in The Beatitudes found in Matt. 5 (that is where I began, yet was taken back to the Psalms)

First, a quick definition of the Greek word for blessed, "The state of one who has become a partaker of God, to experience the fulness of God"

In a recent exercise posed to me, I looked at such a list we might write, here is a segment of a HUGE list:

Blessed are the beautiful
Blessed are the thin and shapely
Blessed are those who dwell in large houses
Blessed are those with BIGGER toys
Blessed are those with authority
Blessed are those with a title
Blessed are those with more education

Fascinating, most of these are external, and don't really hit and affect the inner man. Throughout the Bible, God shares His desire for us to share in His Kingdom, THERE is true 'blessedness'. Ps. 32:1 "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." Ps. 84:5 "Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your presence". Ps. 112:1 "Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in His commands". And Proverbs 29:18 (O this is a dandy) "When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild, but whoever obeys the law is joyful" Or as the King Jimmy says "Blessed is he!"

God's Presence, delighting in Him, accepting His guidance... YES ! Blessedness taken for granted!

~ DeDe

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Wave of the Hand

Yesterday, as I was driving my youngest son to school, I waved at a couple of high school students as they awaited the arrival of the big yellow school bus. Then at the 4-way stop sign further down the street, I again lifted my hand at the passing car. My son asks, "Are you going to wave at EVERYONE?" Well, the thought then occurred to me, and told him, "yes, yes I am" while smiling into the rear view mirror to my son sitting behind me.

So I proceeded to do just that, to my sons embarrassment. As cars passed me, and the driver caught my eye, I raised my hand. Oh mind you, not one of those lean forward and wave your hand as to direct an incoming Boeing, but just the raise of the elbow and wrist. It was actually FUN!

In the early drizzle of the day, among the hopes of getting to the destination without traffic delays, or any other mishaps the automobile can offer, these folks got a ... 'wave'. Some smiled, some I am confident, wondered if I had WAY too much 'double shots' in my latte at the Starbucks drive through.

The word actually says, "greet one another with a holy kiss..." well... um (clearing the throat) THAT was a cultural practice, and in some parts of the world they are accustomed to that. But here ... a simple wave of the hand, a smile can express a kind greeting.

The wave of the hand, a smile and make'em wonder!

~ DeDe