Gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh

No doubt many of you have been preparing for Christmas by purchasing gifts for your loved ones. Our very first example of gift giving at Christmas was from the Magi. After their years-long trek to find the Christ Child, they presented Him with the priceless gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

As an aromatherapist, I’ve studied the essential oils of frankincense and myrrh more in depth, and I realize how valuable — and useful — these gifts were to Mary and Joseph, Jesus’ parents. Let’s explore the interesting history of these two botanicals.

Frankincense, Boswelia carteri

In the ancient world, frankincense, a resin from a small, shrubby tree, was once considered more valuable than gold. Merchants traded it extensively along the Frankincense Trail and the Silk Road. In Christian tradition, frankincense was used by the Israelites in their worship of God. In Exodus 30, God gave Moses a new recipe for Holy Anointing Oil that was reserved only for the Tent of Meeting and the Ark of the Testimony. Additionally, Aaron and his sons (the priests) and many articles inside the Tent of Meeting were anointed with it. Frankincense was part of that recipe. It has long been considered a sacred oil in many cultures.

Besides it’s religious history, frankincense possesses medicinal properties that make it a healing oil. It would have been a powerful medicinal substance for Mary to treat her family with during the years they were traveling. Frankincense is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anxiolytic, a nervine, vulnerary, and an immune enhancer.

When blended in a cream, it is wonderful for skin conditions of all types. As an inhalant, it helps to dry up congestion in the lungs. When used in a cream or salve and smoothed over a wound, it enhances healing after sutures have been removed. It blends well with myrrh, lavender, lemon, Roman chamomile,and helichrysum. The ancient Egyptians used it to treat everything from head to toe, and they used frankincense to make kohl, the black powder Egyptian women painted on their eyelids. Before the day of modern antibiotics, frankincense and myrrh were the primary antimicrobial, antibiotic substances.

This was a valuable gift for Jesus’ family. Besides using it medicinally, they could have also sold it to
finance their trip to Egypt.

Myrrh, Commiphora myrrha

You may not be as familiar with myrrh as you are with frankincense, but myrrh was once again an incredible gift to bless the young family with. Myrrh comes from the needles, trunk, stem, and branches of a small, shrubby tree. In the Old Testament, myrrh was also part of the recipe of the Holy Anointing Oil. Additionally, it was used in a recipe for powder placed in front of the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting. People used to wear pouches of frankincense and myrrh around their necks as perfume and also to benefit from their medicinal properties.

Beauty Treatments

In the book of Esther in the Bible, Esther received 12 months of beauty treatments before she was presented to King Xerxes. The first six months of treatment was with oil of myrrh. I’ve always wished I knew exactly what the formulas contained!

The most interesting fact I found about myrrh is that when the soldiers were preparing Jesus for crucifixion, Mark 15:23 tells us that they offered Jesus wine mixed with myrrh (probably to buffer the pain), but He would not take it. Jesus wanted to fully experience the cross. It is significant that myrrh was part of the beginning of His life and the end of His earthly life.

In aromatherapy, myrrh is know historically for being an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, antiseptic, antiviral, endocrine regulator, and a vulnerary. It is wonderful for periodontal disease. It’s healing for the respiratory system and also for assorted skin diseases like ulcers, athlete’s foot, eczema, and acne. Myrrh blends well with cypress, frankincense, geranium, juniper, lavender, mandarin, patchouli, sandalwood, Scotch pine, tea tree, and vetiver.

I am amazed at how perfectly God provided for the needs of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus with the gifts of
(gold), frankincense, and myrrh.

Recipe for Today

If you’d like to try frankincense and myrrh, here’s a recipe you can mix up using either an unscented cream or oil.

Frankincense and Myrrh Skin Oil

Update: Or~ I found a blend that contains frankincense, myrrh, cedar and vanilla that will be a cheaper option because it’s all combined in one product. You can check it out here:
Frankincense & Myrrh Synergy Blend

If you go with this option, simply add 36 drops of this blend to your cream.

Directions: Mix the synergy of all your essential oils together first. You can use a small shot glass or other glass or ceramic vessel. Don’t mix them in plastic. Stir the synergy into the cream or oil and mix well. Once the synergy has been mixed into an oil or cream, it can then be stored in a plastic or glass container. Smooth onto skin as needed. This is a 3 percent dilution, which is intended for adult use. Pregnant or nursing women should consult with a doctor before using products containing essential oils. Check WebMD for information on specific drug interactions or chronic illnesses that you may have before using essential oils.

I’m sure you’ll find that frankincense and myrrh are wonderful oils to have and use just as they were for Mary and Joseph over 2000 years ago. It may be that you want to follow the example of the Magi and give a gift of the Frankincense and Myrrh Skin Oil or Cream to someone special this year.

Merry Christmas!

Just a note: *This post does contain affiliate links. I do make a small profit if you purchase any products through my links. I only link to products I use myself, have heard are reputable, or are on my own want-to-try list. If you do choose to purchase a product through my link, thank you so much.

Christmas To Do-ers List, Day 4: Shine for Him

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Christmas To Do-ers List

Day 4: Shine for Him

“We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2

I awoke to the inky blackness of an unfamiliar room. I was traveling, sleeping in a room that had darkening shades. A smothering blackness engulfed me as I groped for the little flashlight I put next to my bed. Switching on the button, I breathed a little easier as the features of the room came into focus. Amazing how one tiny light can penetrate the darkness.

Star Light, Star Bright

In the Christmas story, a bright star illuminating the night sky spark a years-long search for some astrologers. Three wisemen from a distant land notice a new, bright star in the sky and they search for answers to this phenomenon. They learn that this star signifies the birth a a new king, and they set aside everything else in their lives to follow the star. Every evening the light of the star guides them, it’s bright presence a constant source of direction and comfort and promise on their long journey through unfamiliar territory and, wisemen, shining for Jesus, light

At long last they arrive to see the full power of the star shining directly on the little family. Overwhelmed, they place their gifts at the feet of the new King and worship Him.

 As Jesus grew, it was apparent something was different about Him. People were drawn to Him. The scriptures tell us that it wasn’t because he had rock-star looks. Isaiah 53:3 makes this clear: “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.”
I like to think that it was the light of God shining through Him that drew others. He had a polarizing effect, much the same today: you either loved Him or you hated Him. Those that let themselves get close enough to Him recognized His absolute love of and care for others.

We are Now the Torch Bearers

With the death and Resurrection of Jesus, God now wants us to be His light in a dark world. Are we comfortable shining for Him, or do we hide our light under a bushel basket? Let’s consider some ways we can shine for Christ:

Action Points:

  1. We can ask the Holy Spirit to fill us up each day and then listen to how he directs our words and actions. Being obedient to His direction will help us to better love and minister to others. (John 14:26).
  2. We can learn about spiritual gifts. Read 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12:6-8, and Ephesians 4:11,12 for a list of some of the gifts. God wants us to use these to benefit others and by developing our gifts, we will certainly be letting our light shine.
  3. Don’t underestimate the power of a daily time spent in the word combined with prayer. As we become transformed into His image, as we go about the normal activities of our days, His spirit will shine through us.

Never think that your gifts or life is too small or ordinary to make a difference. Just as the tiny flashlight beside my bed brought the whole room into clear focus,

Please share your thoughts in the comment section and/or on our To Do-ers Facebook page. Enjoy today’s music The Star Still Shines as you reflect on the lesson.

Gifts for the King by Mary Kane

Jesus has gifted every Christian with talents to use for His kingdom. It is His will that you greatly affect your culture for Jesus. Please click on the link to access a Bible study on how to use your gifts for His Name.