22. The wise men gave frankincense, to show that Jesus was God.
Other than the odd incense stick – frankincense is somewhat out of fashion. Yes, it still resides in some churches and eastern religions, but on the whole Frankincense only brings people into a state of coughing when liberally used. But in ancient time fragrant incense was seen as a pleasing offering and a symbol of prayers rising.
As you think today about this gift from the wise men ask yourself what would be a pleasing offering to God, this day. Make your prayer rise today as smoke from incense rises and fills a room. Show your understanding of Jesus as God.
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Christmas, Christmas Thoughts, Observation, Reflection
Tagged gift, holy smoke, incense, Jesus, prayer, wise men, worship
Thursday 25 February
Using a hand held rocket, a kitchen blow torch meant the charcoal was alight in mere moments. Seconds later the fire alarm was blaring.
Now, I would describe myself as an old fashioned candle man when it comes to charcoal lighting; a small flame and a gentler heat that produces just gentle whiffs of incense.
I accept faith can happen at supersonic speed and the Damascus road is always a possibility, but slow burn, slow learn appeals to my sense of (im)maturity that distrusts the quick fix.
Posted in Lent, Observation, Stories
Tagged charcoal, damascus, faith, flame, flash, incense, slow burn, smoke, whiff
Opening the outer doors to St. Peter’s this morning, and before entering the body of the church, there was an awareness that something was different. Looking towards the east end, shafts of bright sunlight looked all but freestanding.
The smell and vision of incense so evocative of the prayers that had been offered. I was transported to other times and places – college, Christmas, Cursillo, Taize, and other retreats. Times of worship and prayer, times set aside and marked for worship.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church are in residence at St. Peter’s for their fortnight long celebration of the Feast of the Assumption. Some one will be present 24 hours a day over that period.
A different tradition from the same ancient root stock. The sense of prayer lingers as the incense dissipates.