|THE PARISH REGISTER
St. Andrews-Cheney Memorial Church
Gifts for a King
|On January 6, Epiphany, we
think back on the visit of the wise men to Bethlehem to
see the infant Christ. The wise men came bearing gifts;
gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Down through the centuries
a symbolic significance has been attached to these three
gifts. The original interpreter we do not know. Such
interpretations go back as far as the early church
The wise men brought gold. It was customary in some eastern countries to bring a king a gift when entering his presence. Gold is the most valuable of metals and the most fitting gift for a king.
Jesus is the King. He is the King promised by God through the prophets. As Isaiah put it:
There in the manger a King was born who will reign for all eternity. We need to acknowledge His kingship and become loyal subjects of our rightful King.
The wise men brought frankincense. Frankincense was used in the Temple services as a fragrant incense. The Temple priests burned this incense daily, therefore, frankincense is a gift for a priest.
Jesus Christ is a Priest. Christ fulfilled and replaced the Old Testament priesthood. The Scriptures tell us, "The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues for ever. Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:23-25)
With Christ as our permanent High Priest we can with complete confidence come to God. "Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:14-16)
The wise men brought myrrh. In the ancient world myrrh was used to embalm the dead. A strange gift to bring to a new born babe.
But even in the cradle Christ's destiny was set. He came to die and to offer His life as a ransom for many. This too was clearly predicted by the prophet Isaiah and who wrote:
Christ's death was an atoning death which pays for the sins of all who repent of sin and place their faith in Him for salvation.
Three gifts were brought to the baby Jesus. Those gifts signify in a sense who He is and His great work. Christ is the King. Christ is the Great High Priest. Christ is the Savior who died for our sins.
Frank M. Levi
After many months of work the church has been granted a permit to start a preschool. The school will be called St. Andrew's Preschool and is scheduled to open on January 6, 1997. Be in prayer that the school will be a means of outreach to the community.
The Feast of St. Andrew, November 30, was well attended. The service of Evening Prayer was preceded by a pot luck dinner which was enjoyed by all. The offering went to World Relief to help feed the hungry.
A Preschool Open House was held on Sunday afternoon, December 8, from 2-4pm. Community families turned out to see the school and to register for classes beginning in January.
Happy New Year!
(From "The Grace Recorder" January 1981 issue of the newsletter from Grace Church, Scranton, PA.)
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