Monday, August 21, 2017

Christmas Devotion: We Three Kings

As a way of saying “Thank You” for your partnership and friendship, Heart of God International is sharing with you a Christmas Meditation based on a different Christmas Carol each morning from now until Christmas Day.  We pray you will be blessed as you enjoy a few minutes of reflection during this busy season of celebration and remembrance! God bless you this Christmas!

 

The Perfect Light

 

The Wise Men followed the Star to meet the Christ Child face to face and worship Him. Interestingly, the details we would attribute to these “wise men” are based on a lot of assumption, dramatizing the visit of the magi to honor the Son of God. However, the song itself gives us some food for thought as we consider its context.

 

“Who really were the Three Kings? Some people call them Magi, or Wise Men, or even astrologers. The American Rev. John Henry Hopkins who wrote this carol in 1857 doesn’t exactly let us in on the mystery. His greatest explanation is of a more poetic nature in his beautiful description of that “Star of Wonder,” guiding us “to the perfect light,” one of the great symbols of Christianity. Since his time, many scholars have delved into the controversial identity of these three men named Melchior, Kaspar, and Balthazar but the popularity and message of his carol has remained constant for over a hundred years.”

 

We Three Kings

 

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

 

Chorus
Oh, star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.

 

Born a king on Bethlehem’s plain,
Gold we bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign. Chorus

 

Frankincense to offer have I;
Incense owns a Deity nigh.
Prayer and praising, voices raising,
Worship Him, God on high. Chorus

 

Myrrh is mine; It’s bitter perfume;
Breathes a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb. Chorus

 

Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and sacrifice.
Alleluia, Alleluia;
Earth to the heavens replies. Chorus

    

There are far too many “stars” being followed today … some follow movie stars, some follow sports stars, some even follow “religious” stars! Which “star” are you following? Are you following the Star of Christ? The star of Christmas? Aren’t they both the same? Actually, no! There’s a world of difference between the two.

The “Star of Christ” will lead you to Him, just as it led shepherds and Wise Men of old to the place where they could meet Him face to face. The “Star of Christ” is found in the heart of God who is full of Grace toward us who desire a greater measure of Him. The “Star of Christ” is found in the one whose heart is fixed on spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ throughout the earth, proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace goodwill toward men!”

But, we need to beware of the trap laid by the enemy to lure this world into following the “Star of Christmas”! The “Star of Christmas” has its focus on just that–Christmas. The stores, the shopping, gift-giving, parties, pageants, cantatas, the hustle and bustle, the busy-ness, all that would rob us of our joy.

When the Wise Men saw the star, they were filled with “exceeding great joy”. If we’re not filled with “exceeding great joy” today, then we’re probably guilty of following the “Star of Christmas” rather than the “Star of Christ”.

The child of God will celebrate the birth, death and resurrection of Christ every day of his or her life, regardless of the “season” and regardless of the “holiday”. Celebration of Him should be a lifestyle.

 

Examine your heart today and ask yourself, “Am I following the Star of Christ or the Star of Christmas?” If you are truly honest with yourself, you may be shocked at your answer!

Father, forgive me for allowing myself to be a victim of the enemy’s scheme to take the focus off of You and to put it on everything else. I want to be single-minded when it comes to my relationship with You. Help me follow the Star of Christ, the only Star that will lead me to where I can worship You face to face, amen.

 

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, 
we have fellowship one with another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

 

________________ 

© Jan Ross

All Rights Reserved

“We Three Kings”, also known as “We Three Kings of Orient Are” or “The Quest of the Magi”, is a Christmas carol written by the Reverend John Henry Hopkins, Jr., who wrote both the lyrics and the music. It is suggested to have been written in 1857 but did not appear in print until his Carols, Hymns and Song in 1863. John Henry Hopkins, Jr., then an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church, was instrumental in organizing an elaborate holiday pageant (which featured this hymn) for the students of the General Theological Seminary in New York City in 1857 while serving as the seminary’s music director. In 1872 Hopkins was ordained an Episcopal priest and later served as rector at Christ Episcopal Church (Williamsport, PA). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Three_Kings

 

Heart of God International Ministries
P. O. Box 248  |  Willard, OH  44890
Phone:  419-933-7000 / Toll Free/Fax:  888-917-7256

Web:  http://heartofgodinternational.org

 

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