It’s amazing what difference a year can make. A year ago I was scratching my head as I tried to come up with subjects to write about. After years of writing, everything I had called for had come to fruition. Regulations that strangled American business were disappearing. Stifling taxes were diminished. ISIS was defeated and the American military was once again the cream of the crop of military might.
Wall Street had soared and unemployment was at a lower point than I had ever seen in my life. American’s believed in themselves and their country. All was good until a Virus from the bowels of China appeared that threatened to destroy the entire world and launched a year to forget.
At this time there is so much to document. There is more stress on everyday life than what any human should be required to endure. As bad as things are it is time to reflect not on how bad our world is but instead of how fortunate we are. What a better way to do so than to think of the beautiful Christmas season, cast off materialistic wants and immerse oneself in the glory of the year; our Christmas season.
We have all heard and read the story about the birth of Christ, the time of the season that we are currently in. Part of this story deals with the Three Wise Men and I have all ways enjoyed this part of the birth story of Jesus. Men of wealth and power traveling from lands in the East to witness the Christ child and bring gifts. Here is how the Bible depicts this event.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they replied, ‘for this is what the prophet has written: “’But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’” Then Herod called on the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.’
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
The story of the Three Wise Men is somewhat short yet we have heard the story in much more detail. While we think of the wise men as three men walking out of the desert with camels in tow, they were probably accompanied by an entourage of servants and beasts of burden. Also, the Bible identifies the gifts for Jesus as gold, incense and myrrh but has been changed in stories of our day as gold frankincense and myrrh. In fact frankincense is an incense that was used in the Mid-East. When I lived in Saudi Arabia we could purchase a small collection of frankincense and myrrh and thus see what the Bible is referring to. Gold was not included.
As we think of the Wise Men crossing the empty expanse of desert, we visualize the star lighting the way.
On December 21, the planets Saturn and Jupiter will be the closest together that they have been in 800 years. Many have theorized that it was this phenomenon that created the Christmas Star. The bright celestial lights will be visible in the Western skies.
Next week we will look at a historical depiction of the story of the Wise Men and see how history can reinforce the stories of the Bible as we move closer to that special time of the year for all Christians, Christmas.
Tuffy Fields may be reached by emailing thelouisianaexplorer@ yahoo.com.