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Dec 20, 2021

Today’s Scripture reading from Matthew recounts the story of the “wise men from the east” who come to Judea to
worship to the newly born Savior. Though featured in countless popular Christmas scenes along with Mary, Joseph,
and the shepherds and angels from Luke 2, the Magi and their gifts are more properly associated with the feast of
Epiphany. But even though it isn’t January quite yet, we can still enjoy some of the wonderful carols and hymns
which use “wise men” imagery. The gentile “sages” in Angels From The Realms Of Glory follow the “natal star” to
find a Christ who is not merely born to be the “King of the Jews,” but the desire of every nation. As With Gladness,
Men Of Old calls us to imitate them by bringing our costliest treasures to Christ, our heavenly King. The
contemporary hymn Joy Has Dawned Upon The Earth suggests that the gifts brought to Jesus prophesy His life and
work—gold for kingship, incense for intercession, and myrrh for embalming His body. What Child Is This reminds
us that all men, be they kings or peasants, are all called to enthrone Him in their hearts. We may not see Him face to
face in the same way the wise men did, but we can all heed the call to come and “worship Christ, the newborn King!”
—Henry C. Haffner & Emma Marsh

Key Words: Bethlehem, Herod, Wise Men, Prophet, Secretly, Star, Warned
Keystone Verse: Where is He who was born King of the Jews? For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him. (Matthew 2:2)


Matthew 2:1-12
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise
men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born king of the Jews? For
we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he
was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the
people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea,
for so it is written by the prophet:
6 “And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for
from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had
appeared. 8 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.” 9 After listening to the
king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them
until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced
exceedingly with great joy. 11 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. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to
their own country by another way