From distant lands they came
Journeying many days and nights
Guided by a star in the sky--
A special star, a sign they
Discovered through their
Astronomical studies.
Wise men: magi from
Gentile lands bearing
Treasures fit for a king.

For a King He was,
Thought not as any expected.
Not born in a palace warm,
But without even a room.
Laid for warmth amongst
The rough straw in the manger
Where the livestock fed.
Surrounded by shepherds
Rather than royal knaves.

A King like no other:
Coming to free the prisoner,
Bring justice to the oppressed,
Give sight to the blind,
And love to all who would
Have them as their Lord.
One who rules from a
Heavenly throne yet walks
Amongst the leper and whore.

What treasure can I give?
I have no gold or silver;
I lack precious incense
Or embalming oil.
And would I readily give
What I do have?
My money? My time?
My heart? My life?
These I shall try to give

To the One who alone
Is worthy of my worship;
To the one who came
To save the lost and forsaken--
People like me in need
Of a Savior, in need of
Love, in need of forgiveness.
What He has given me,
I shall return through worship.

* * * * * * *

Church was cancelled tonight because of the extreme cold in Minnesota (the Governor called off all school across the state tomorrow). Still, I wanted to be there. It's Epiphany, and I wanted to be at church for it, not at home. So I thought I'd draw and reflect upon the holy day at least.

We don't know how many magi there were. We number them three because of the gifts. The truth is there could have been more. They might not have even been all men for all we know. We don't know where they were from other than that they followed the star from the East (or the star was in the east--some translations don't make that very clear even.

Traditionally the three are given names: Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar. They are often depicted as being from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East (or Persia, India, and Arabia--do a wikipedia search if you're interested in finding out more about what the church has historically believed about the magi). It's unlikely that they were from differing continents; Matthew 2 makes it sound like they came from the same country. But if I'm going to depict the traditional three magi, I like the thought of making them from a variety of places.

They were likely the first Gentiles to come and worship the Jewish child (Jesus wasn't likely a baby nor in a stable--the text says they went to a home). This is significant. The Christ-child wasn't merely to be worshiped by His own people as many thought the Messiah should be, but by all people. Even those who maybe had no concept of the Hebrew God or the stories and laws of the Torah.

Despite all we don't know about these astronomers, we do know what they did. They came and worshiped Jesus. They brought Him gifts of significance. They knelt before Him.

These are things you and I can do. These are the actions that make us wise like them.

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