We're well into the New Year of 2017 and, surely, I hope your Holydays were as cozy, special and peaceful as mine. This season was the best in many years; more than five to be exact. I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point this last year, peace was the lovely gift given by Abba. Peace regarding Dave's death; peace regarding those who've stolen, lied, cheated me in the ensuing years; peace regarding my animals; peace regarding the house and farm; peace that everything will be okay...Everything's Gonna Be Okay!
Today is Theophany (manifestation of God), also know as the Epiphany; some may call it Three Kings Day, when the three kings visited baby Jesus in Bethlehem. It's the 12th Day of Christmas and, accordingly, my few, special decorations are still in place. Three candles represent not only the three wise men but also the Trinity, of which Christ was the human representative on earth. Those three wise men aren't named in the Bible but it's commonly accepted their names were Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar and represented Europe, Arabia and Africa. Gold (representing money), frankincense (adoration of a consecrated life) and myrrh (sharing in the Lord's sorrows) were brought as gifts for the baby. I believe in two more things...the gold represented the thirty pieces of silver given Judas when he betrayed Christ and the frankincense and myrrh represented the ointments used to anoint the body of Christ after His death.
The other I believe is more practical. The gold was used to pay the way for the family to travel to Egypt to escape the infanticide of Herod while the frankincense and myrrh were used to treat physical problems and ailments along the way. Joseph, Mary's husband, was a carpenter and he would have been used to those occasional accidents requiring ointments while Mary may well have been pregnant again by that time so those ointments would have come in most handy.
Frankincense is known to relieve stress, used as a disinfectant and in healing wounds to name a few. Myrrh is an antioxidant, anti-parasitic with many uses. I've read some who say aromatherapy is "bad and anti-Christian" but my Bible says God gave us plants to use; like Joseph told his brothers, "You meant it for evil but God used it for good." My God is a mighty big God and I trust He'll sort things out.
Do you observe Theophany? If so, how?
Now for a lighter mood...if Three Wise Women visited the Christ Child, as my new mug says...
"They Who are Wise Women...if there had been three wise women, they would have arrived three days early, swept the stable, gathered fresh linens and had a hot meal ready and waiting when the Christ child arrived. Yet they come today, bearing three precious gifts...Love, laughter & friendship!"
Marti, a friend of decades (Really! I have so few...any?... friends of less than decades!) gave this mug to me for Christmas. It's by the artist Suzy Toronto (Life is All About How You Handle Plan B...and ain't that the absolute truth!)
and has given much joy in the few days since Christmas morning.
The Cove is in the midst of a snow storm with more snow expected so I've put together a soup of country ham, potatoes, home canned tomatoes, white beans and sweet onions. The slow cooker, otherwise known as my cast iron kettle, simmers merrily on the stove,
waiting the addition of home made bread with home churned butter and honey from my brother's hives, and sweet milk to round out supper.
Do I know how to eat or what?! lol I wish you were here to share with me; it's going to be grand!
This is a day of large beginnings...but isn't every day? I have a few plans for this year...some delightful travel, visits with family and friends, quilting, knitting some hats, boot toppers and scarves. I'm hopeful my aspirations aren't larger than my abilities...lol! I'm leaving a legacy for family, friends and strangers. I'm trying to be Jesus-like and some days I actually succeed; other days I fail miserably but don't let that stop me from trying again and again and...
There's time enough daylight to throw some hay out for the horses and my helpers are willing although not very able (due to lack of thumbs but their enthusiasm is contagious!). My plans are simple...feed everyone (including myself), keep everyone happy (including myself) and treat others the way I'd like to be treated.
Big plans? Not really, but good, really good, plans.
Ponder this ~ life and time are the world's two great teachers...life teaches us to make good use of time and time teaches us the value of life ~