A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (13)

ALMOND BLOSSOMS

The most obvious reference about almond blossoms is the famous group of paintings made in 1888 and 1890 by Vincent Van Gogh. The blossoms represented awakening and hope for good reason. The famous artist had just become an uncle! His brother and sister-in-law named their little bundle of joy after Vincent. The paintings were done with great joy. It’s no accident that he used this subject. Almond blossoms are the first to appear and announce that spring has arrived.

There are also a couple of references in the Bible about almond blossoms. Keep in mind that in the mind of the artist, the blossoms represented awakening, hope and renewal. The parallel between the Biblical and the secular applications is astounding to me.

Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” Then said the LORD unto me, “You have seen well: for I am ready to perform My word.” – Jeremiah 1:11, 12.

Jeremiah was just a teen when God called him to be a prophet. He didn’t volunteer for the job, but he was faithful. He was known as the weeping prophet. God had a specific purpose for Jeremiah. He was a prophet during the reign of 5 different kings. But this was the beginning of the long road. This was the awakening, the renewal. Before Jeremiah spoke, he needed to see.

God doesn’t use visions to help us much anymore – or maybe I should say He hasn’t used visions or dreams to help me. But the beautiful almond blossoms helped the young weeping prophet learn the lessons he needed to learn at the beginning of his journey. What lesson is God teaching you right now? What is He using to help you learn the lesson? 🙂

MERRY CHRISTMAS

TL MERRY CHRISTMAS

IF I WERE A WISE MAN

I’ve read about the gifts the Wise Men (Magi) gave Christ. For years I have been under the impression that the value of the gifts was the emphasis. I naturally assumed that because they brought Him gold, the frankincense and myrrh must have been quite valuable as well. I have been wrong all these years. The gifts were not only commonplace in that time and era, but extremely practical as well.

Frankincense is a white milky resin extracted from the genus Boswellia, which grow in areas of the Arabian Peninsula around India and East Africa. The most aromatic of the species is called the Boswellia Sacra, a small tree found in Yemen, Somalia and Oman. They have a white flower with a yellow or red center.

Myrrh is a reddish resin that comes from a species of the genus Commiphora, native to Northeast Africa and along the Arabian Peninsula. Commiphora myrrha is a tree used to produce myrrh and is found in the shallow rocky soils of Oman, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Ethiopia.

To put it delicately, in that day a daily bath was unheard of, so these fragrances were used to make people smell better. Considering that the Holy family was in a barn – actually in a manger next to a barn – the gift was appreciated I’m sure.

There is also a symbolic significance to be considered. Frankincense, when burned, symbolized prayer rising to the heavens like smoke. Myrrh was used for burials and symbolized death. As you recall, while Christ hung on the cross, a mixture of wine and myrrh was offered to him.

So, would a modern-day wise man choose to buy perfume for almost $13,000.00 per ounce? I used to think he would. Now, I’m not so sure. I think those Wise Men gave just the right gifts. That’s why they were called Wise Men, right?  Wink!  😉