It is a common sight in homes, shops, and churches during Christmas time – a thatched shed-like structure, topped off by a bright, glittering star, with figurines of a female in blue and white, a male in shepherd’s clothing next to her, and that of a little baby nestled in the hay. There are also animals, and three other men, in regal attire, holding presents. This is a depiction of the birth of Jesus, in a humble manger somewhere in the town of Bethlehem in Judea. The supernatural celestial phenomenon, that we simply call the ‘Star of Bethlehem’ guided the three wise Magi from the East, to Jesus.
Balthazar, from Arabia, presented a gift of myrrh. The Persian Melchior brought gold, and the Indian king Gaspar brought frankincense. These gifts were not just precious commodities of the time. They had a deeper significance. The gold represented Jesus’ regal status as the true king. Frankincense was for His divine nature as the Son of God, born of a virgin mother. Myrrh represented His human nature; and His future destiny to live amongst common men, and eventually die, and be immortalised for their redemption.
It is such a coincidence, (or is it?) that in the world of self-care, grooming, and beauty, gold, frankincense, and myrrh are all celebrated for their cleansing, healing, and anti-ageing properties.
Frankincense and myrrh are popular remedies in skincare, as they are both powerful antiseptics and antioxidants. They heal wounds, and lighten scars, tighten and smooth out enlarged pores, and lift the skin, preventing premature ageing. Their fragrance has a mysteriously sacred and intriguing quality, used to induce a sense of meditative relaxation.