04 January 2009

Lavish Incense

The Kings brought frankincense gifts to lay at the feet of the Christ child. Our prayers go up before the throne of God like sweet, burning incense. Yahweh, himself, specified the ingredients and uses for incense in temple worship. Something about that smell...

Tapped from trees in much the same way we obtain amber or even maple syrup, frankincense has been used for centuries in the middle east.
Unlike our pampered and tendered maple trees on a Vermont orchard however, the Botswellia trees that frankincense is drawn from are scraggly. Hardy. Windblown. Some grow in such harsh environs that they appear to sprout directly from the rock- bare roots clamped around anchoring boulders against the elements.

A picture of life outside of a garden.

Life outside of The Garden.

The frankincense is drawn by piercing or wounding the bark of the tree to cause the sap to rise and fill the fresh wound. The resulting hardened resin is referred to as tears.
Tears developed from wounding.
Wounding a tree that perilously clings to life outside The Garden.


These tears are what God wanted to smell always in his Temple. Generation after generation. These tears are what the wise kings carried as gifts to our young Emmanuel.
These same tears are how the Lord describes our prayers. Carried. Offered. Lifted up in worship. Something about that smell...


* The Agony in the Garden, Hans Leonhard Schaufelein, 1516
Lime panel, Munich

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Anonymous heather said...

I didn't know this about frankincense--I love the comparisons.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Ok, this is AMAZING (in the words of my husband after I had read it out to him). I need to explore this concept some more - take it out of its wrapping when in a quiet, sacred place and revel in His deliberate design. His majesty awes me.

5:10 AM  

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