Last night was Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, or The Feast of the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. Take your pick. It is always January 6.
The Mommies made sushi with the kids, family gathered for the feast, and to end the day, Boss man and I each opened a gift.
Now a few days ago, I explained to the daughters the Epiphany gifts were for Daddy and myself. One girl puzzled that both gifts were the result of my shopping not daddy’s and how could I open a gift I had bought and wrapped myself. I explained that in the Christmas gift buying process, extra needs always get tossed into the mix and I simply wrap them for the pleasure and reminder that even a need fulfilled is a gift. It really does not matter to me if I know what is under wrap and in a box. To open it is still a delight and a need met. I challenged them to reflect on their own gifts and that they receive mostly what could classify under “needs”, and how rapturously they receive with a delighted heart.
But both gifts are from mama, not from mama to daddy and daddy to mama, child questions. Watch and see how it works, I encourage the small, bewildered person.
Big Daddy and I opened our gifts last night with the anticipated cheerful results. We read a book, The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke and beautifully illustrated by Robert Barrett.
It is the story of Artaban, a wise man who traveled to meet three of the friends that had been studying the promise in the ancient writings that a star would rise signifying the birth of a Great King. He had just ten days to meet his friends at the Temple of Babylon for their journey in search of this King. Taking up his treasure gift, he began his travels. However, on his flight to Babylon, Artaban stopped to help a sick man lying along the road. This gracious delay caused him to miss his friends in Babylon. Attempting to catch the traveling party in Bethlehem, he came across a woman hiding her infant from Herod’s slaughter of infants. Artaban helped save this woman’s child from the sword with a portion of his treasure. He heard that the Baby King’s Family had fled to Egypt and there too, Artaban searched. He searched across many lands for thirty- three years, all the while feeding the hungry, clothing the needy, when finally, in Jerusalem, hears that two notorious robbers were being crucified along with a man named “King of the Jews”. Meanwhile, he heard the cries of a desperate girl, being drug to a life of slavery as payment for her father’s debts. With the last of his treasure gift for the King, Artaban buys the girl’s freedom. The sky blackens and the ground shakes. A crumbling building strikes Artaban to the ground. In his desperation of not having delivered his gift, a voice comforts him, “you fed me when I was hungry, you clothed me when I was naked, and you healed me when I was sick. Whenever you helped these, you helped me.”
Big Daddy pulled up from YouTube, Keith Green’s “Sheep and Goats”.
Eww. Please: No Keith Green.
Here is where I explain, I’m not any sort of fan of Green, or his music/vocal style, but Mike thinks it fits the present topic of discussion, and the foundation built by a dad is Holy and Divine so- let ‘er rip, Big Daddy! Show us what ya got!
When the video finished, we smooched the girls and sent them to bed. The weary mama I was, I lay down and shut my eyes. Unbeknownst to me, Mike was now on a Keith Green Internet Quest.
He found the Easter Song. I hadn’t heard it for years but many of the words found their way to my lips.
I awoke this morning with the words of the song not just in my mouth but resonating from my soul. Mike had gifted me last night. Not in the roundabout way of being the moneymaking provider that made, through me, store purchases, but as the strong, earthly guard of my salvation. I fell asleep with such peace, the joy of my Deliverance only to awaken with the same.
Free to all, Mike’s gift to me, I pass on to you this day because the Story of The Magi: Gold for a King, Frankincense for the High Priest, Myrrh for the Sacrifice, have Everything to do with the Resurrection.
I may have to reconsider my feelings about Keith Green.