When I was a kid I went to Sunday School, it was the thing to do and at the time I knew no better; that changed when I was about twelve and developed an enquiring mind of my own and was no longer able to accept the status quo.

One of the things I learned at Sunday School, as probably with all kids, is the Christmas story. You know the one from Matthew 2:11. “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh”

I knew what gold was, that wasn’t a problem. But what were frankincense and myrrh?

Myrrh tree, Commiphora myrrha, in Yemen

Nobody was able to tell me. Which was about the time I figured that Sunday School teachers weren’t real teachers at all, they didn’t know their material. The seed of doubt was sown that would sprout a few years later enabling me to think for myself.

I found out today, by reading an article in the BBC News Frankincense tree facing uncertain future.

From there, I found What exactly are frankincense and myrrh?

So I now now what frankincense and myrrh are.

Myrrh is a resin that comes from a rather grotty little tree in Yemen and the East Coast of Africa.

The tree is in the same Burseracea family as Boswellia sacra from whence comes frankincense, which is also a resin.

So the mystery is solved.

Advertisements