More :: 4th Advent ~ Peace

As the first weeks are Hope, Love and Joy, the final week is the Peace that Passes all Understanding. That knowledge—of what Christ has done, is doing, and will do—gives us peace, for we know that He directs our lives.

Many people become caught up in the questions: who and what? why and how? Christ is a mystery that we can’t answer. Should we try to understand Him? Yes, but the factual details only reveal bits and pieces. And facts change, while truth is eternal. Christ is truth. Everything He does and says reveal to us the Kingdom of Heaven.

The second reading for this Sunday of Peace comes from the New Testament: Matthew 3: 1 to 12 ~ John the Baptist is the one voice crying in the Wilderness, saying “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

And our mystery is solved, for while we may not understand the vastness of God and the greatest of miraculous events, we have our purpose: to cry out to others to accept Christ, fight against the temptation of sin, and represent Christ in this world through the choices in our lives.

Come, O long-expected Jesus, / Born to set your people free; / From our fears and sins release us / By your death on Calvary.

Israel’s strength and consolation, / Hope to all the earth impart, / Dear desire of ev’ry nation, / Joy of every longing heart.

Born your people to deliver, / Born a child and yet a king; / Born to reign in us forever, / Now your gracious kingdom bring.

By your own eternal Spirit / Rule in all our hearts alone; / By your all-sufficient merit / Raise us to your glorious throne.

Chrismon 20 ~ Third Gift of the Magi

Yesterday’s post combined both Frankincense and Myrrh. The third gift of myrrh, along with frankincense an extremely expensive aromatic resin, are gifts worthy for the Christ Child.

“Frankincense to offer a deity nigh” sings the second magi in “We Three Kings” while the third admits “Myrrh have I, a bitter perfume / breathes a life of gathering gloom / Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying / Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.”

Chrismon 19 ~ Second Gift of the Magi

Frankincense ~ an extremely expensive oil pressed from an aromatic resin. With myrrh, both oils were used in religious ceremonies and in preparation of the dead. Many believe the frankincense is symbolic of Christ’s role as high priest for all believers while the myrrh symbolizes his later death and burial.

This Chrismon is usually depicted with an oil container, one which we often associated with stories about genies, appropriate with the wreath of Advent Candles.