Friday, December 30, 2016

Three Kings

One of my favorite traditions passed down from my family has been keeping the Christmas decorations (and tree) up through Epiphany.  Who wouldn't like Christmas being a little bit longer,  especially when there's not really anything exciting going on in January?

The celebration of Epiphany is when the Christmas season ends and we celebrate the arrival of the Three Kings arriving to adore Jesus.

Many people would be able to tell you about the gifts they brought, can you?  Gold, Frankincense and Myrh.  I just recently found out the significance of Myrh.  Gold and Frankincense I think are easy things to think of as Kingly gifts, but Myrh?

Myrh was present at the beginning and end of Jesus' life.  I'm certainly not a Bible scholar, but the more I learn, read and actually absorb, the more intriguing it is that parts of the Christmas Story are precursors for the Easter Story.  Myrh gum comes from the resin of trees and like the gift Frankincense could be used as a perfume.  At the beginning of our Lord's life, Myrh was a gift, at the end, it was present at his Crucifixion, death and burial.  These characteristics of Myrh I was aware of previously, the characteristic I learned of recently is one that piqued my interest as a veterinarian.

Myrh was used as treatment for intestinal parasites.  Wow!  That's kind of cool for this nerdy veterinarian and it also makes sense that this would be a gift for a baby, to help protect and keep a baby healthy.  There are other items in the Bible that refer to intestinal parasites, such as the reason pork was not allowed for the Jewish people to eat.  There was actually human health and infectious disease logic behind some of these Biblical directives.

Sorry if the above grosses you out, but it's definitely a different factoid about Epiphany than what you will find in most places, so consider yourself prepared for Jeopardy!

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