588. The magic of Christmas Eve is not in the presents under the tree but in the coming of His presence…

Christmas Eve is a night of sacred hymns
that wrap themselves around us like a shawl.
And they warm more than the body–
they warm the human heart and fill it
with melodies that last forever.
~Edited and adapted
excerpt 
by Bess Streeter Aldrich

Screen shot 2014-12-24 at 7.43.54 AM

ROSEMARY WREATH 

~by Teri Casper

Several common herbs have legends connected with the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt after Jesus was born. Since rosemary is silent underfoot, its soft leaves muffling crackling twigs beneath it, it prevented detection and ensured their safe journey.

Another story involves rosemary, sugar cane and date palm. The plants argued as to which provided the Holy Family with the greatest benefit. Palm sheltered them in the daytime heat and gave them fruit. Sugar cane provided sweetness. The rosemary bush was silent, having nothing special to offer the family.

After Mary washed Jesus’ swaddling clothes she asked the palm to bend its head so she could hang them on its fronds to dry. It couldn’t bend low enough for her to reach them. Sugar cane offered its branches but the clothes fell to the ground. So Mary hung out Jesus’ clothes on the rosemary, a small flowerless bush that had antiseptic properties. Mary blessed the rosemary, giving it flowers the blue color of her robe. Legend has it that a rosemary plant will grow no higher than six feet in thirty-three years, so as not to stand taller than Jesus did.

During their flight to Egypt, Mary, Jesus and Joseph ran out of water. Joseph went to the nearest village to get some. Mary heard Herod’s soldiers’ shouts and the sound of hoof beats approaching. There was no place to hide.

Mary saw a rose bush and asked for shelter. It refused, which is why rose bushes have thorns. The clove bush also refused help and this resulted in it having unpleasant smelling flowers. The sage plant hid them, blossoming to create safe haven. The soldiers passed by. Since then, the plant was considered sacred and believed to possess curative and protective powers.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ~Psalm 73:25-26   ✝

**Image via Pinterest, text added by Natalie

21 thoughts on “588. The magic of Christmas Eve is not in the presents under the tree but in the coming of His presence…

  1. Merry Christmas Natalie. It’s the day here and hot already, although I’m looking forward to the ham. have a great day LMS.
    Love’n Hugs
    Laurence.

    Like

    • Thank you so much, Laurence!!! It was a tad chilly and very windy here today, but the sun was shining and so it wasn’t all that bad outside. I hope you had a great day, my lovely friend, and enjoyed the ham! Much much love and huge hugs, LMS ❤ ❤ ❤

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      • Our day turned out well LMS, our friend has aircon. 🙂 I did enjoy the ham, because I cooked it.
        Now that is a Christmas bounty of love’n hugs.
        Laurence.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the descriptions Natalie. I love stories about herbs and trees, and how they sheltered our Lord and the Saints. Have a Happy and Blessed Christmas.

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    • Oh, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I love stories about herbs and plants and the role they’ve played in the spread of Christianity. Merry Christmas to you as well. Lots and lots of blessings to you too. Hugs, N ❤

      Like

  3. Thank you for the quote from Bess Strieter Aldrich–reminds me how much I enjoyed her books–they would be good winter reading again! God’s richest blessings to you Natalie at Christmas and in the New Year to come! Hugs ~ Laura

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