We 3 Kings

December 20, 2014

We 3 Kings

You probably know the song, We Three Kings of Orient Are:

We three kings of orient are,
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain,
Moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

The song is based upon the account of the Magi, in Matthew 2.  And though it may be a little less than an accurate account, it is still among my favorites during the Christmas season.

What is inaccurate? For one thing, there is no reason to assume there were only three Magi.  The three is largely assumed because of the mention of three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. There very well could have been, and very likely were, far more guys in the caravan than those lonely determined three.  That is just one example.  There are at least a few other somewhat trivial issues. But otherwise, while the song may be a little fanciful, there is nothing seriously erroneous about it.

But more important than a few questionable lyrics is a greater question: “What are some things we can learn from the three Magi mentioned in the song?” To answer this question we can benefit from a helpful little piece Martin Downes wrote a few years ago for Against Heresies: We Three Kings.

Check it out, and give it some thought. And remember, this is not a story limited to Christmas. After all, the Wise Men themselves did not actually arrive to their destination until some time after that first Christmas Day. So this is a story worth pondering well into the New Year.

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