Words & Music by John H. Hopkins, 1820-1891

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew 2:11

Each of the participants involved with the beginning of Christ's first coming--Mary and Josph, the inn keeper, the angels, the shepherds, and the wise men--has much to teach us. Although there is no scriptural basis for stating that there were only three wise men, the fact that three distinct gifts are given to the Christ child created this traditional idea. Master artists throughout the centuries have depicted three wise men on camels following the star....

The number of wise men is not important, but the fact that they persisted in following the light that was given them until they found the Christ child, that they responded in worship, and that they returned home to share their news with others--has much to tell us. Also, the gifts presented to Him were both significant and appropriate:
gold, symbolic of His kingly reign;
frankincense, symbolic of His priestly majesty;
and myrrh, symbolic of our redemption through His death.
How important it is that our gifts of love and devotion be offered to Christ after we have first found Him and then have bowed in true adoration before Him!

The author and composer of this well-known Christmas hymn was a minister from Pennsylvania. John Hopkins has been credited with contributing much to the development of music during the 19th Century, writing a number of fine hymns and hymn tunes. One of his publications, Carols, Hymns, and Songs, enjoyed four editions.

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

Born a King on Bethlehemís plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.

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

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

Glorious now behold Him arise;
King and God and sacrifice;
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Sounds through the earth and skies.

O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light!

*For Today*: Matthew 2:1-11

Follow the Light of God's Word and the leading of His Holy Spirit to worship Christ and to share His love!

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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