Saturday, December 3, 2016

Christmas Countdown Characters #3

C is for Christmas ... Yes, but also for Caspar. No, not the friendly comic ghost ...

Caspar was one of the Magi, who foresaw  the birth of a Messiah from their study of the stars - or at least that is one version of the story. Caspar, along with Melchior and Balthazar  guided by the Star of Bethlehem travelled by camel to pay homage. The gospel  of Matthew  tells of their quest ...
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departing to their own country by another way.

 The Magi are now not considered to have been kings, but rather highly respected men of  high learning and wisdom Caspar is believed to be the unbearded Indian scholar who gave to the Baby Jesus the gift of frankincense ( signifying divinity). Frankincense was also used to make medicines, so it is also thought that  Caspar's gift was appropriate for a healer. Caspar like his two companions returned to his home  perhaps in Southern India  and abandoned his riches and worldly posessions to live a life of religious teaching.

By the way, if you are thinking of naming your son Caspar, the name is derived from Gaspar or Gazbar, an ancient work meaning "treasurer".

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