Daily Dose, Dec. 28 — Sounds of the Season: Christmas Songs

 

LISTEN TO “WE THREE KINGS”

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.  They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:  ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’” (Matthew 2:1-6) For many of us, the Christmas season involves travel. Over the years, it’s been true for my family as well. We’ve made many trips to Florida during the week after Christmas to visit Erica’s family. A few minutes on I-75 during that week will quickly remind you that you’re not the only one who’s traveling! It’s always interesting to see the cars on their way TO somewhere, packed up with wrapped Christmas gifts. You can tell the cars on their way back home -- the gifts they’ve received are opened, and they have spilled over onto the dash, the console and even the rear decklid. Travel has been a part of the Christmas message since that silent night in Bethlehem. Part of that story involves Joseph helping a very pregnant Mary as they travel back to the family hometown of Bethlehem. Part of the reason Jesus was born out back, in a cattle stall, is that there were many others traveling back to Bethlehem just as Mary and Joseph were. We also remember that, after Jesus’ birth, he received some very special travelers. These wise men weren’t in Bethlehem because it was their ancestral home. They were there specifically to see Jesus. God revealed to them that this baby would be special, and so they came bearing their gifts to pay homage to this new king. The composer of “We Three Kings” originally intended for each of the three middle verses to be sung by a solo male voice. In this way, each verse would reflect the individual gift that the king had chosen to lay at the crib of King Jesus. Are you choosing to bring something to Jesus even now? If you were to write an additional verse that told of YOUR gift that you offer, what would you say? -- Rev. Brad Greene