Three Kings, Three Gifts
Gospel Reading: Matthew 2: 1-15
Dear Community of Christians,
The festival of Epiphany has high importance, especially for the German city of Cologne. There is an old legend: After the Three Kings became bishops and later died, their bones were brought to Cologne. Some time after a Danish king came to Cologne and brought with him three crowns for the three kings. When he came back home, he had a dream. The three kings appeared to him in the dream and handed him 3 cups, the first of the cups contained gold, the second myrrh and the third contained frankincense.
When the Danish king awoke, the Three Magi had disappeared, but the three cups had remained for him. Rudolf Steiner gives us an insight into this legend. The dream was assistance for the Danish King to rise up into the spiritual world. And thus, the symbolic substance of gold, frankincense and myrrh became known to him. We can also say that he could now recognize the symbolic power of the gifts. He could read the meaning of the images. These offerings are meant: Gold - self-knowledge, or we can even say Self-improvement; Then frankincense - self-piety, or even self-development; Myrrh – devotion, or also the preservation of the eternal in the self.
If we visualize these qualities of the soul, then perhaps we can appreciate what a long way we have to go to become a true human being. The 3 kings themselves were also on this path, yet they brought their offerings to the - one whom they foresaw would live these ‘gifts’ one day as an eternal example for mankind.
Rev. Ute Koenig
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