January 6, the Day of the Kings

It’s the twelfth day of Christmas! Today we commemorate the wisemen who visited Jesus. “The Day of the Kings” or “Epiphany” are both historical names for today.

Psalm 72:1-14 (links to scriptures here)

Isaiah 60:1-6

Ephesians 3:1-12

Matthew 2:1-12

Notes

Psalm 72:1-14 looks forward to Jesus reigning on earth as the heir of David’s throne.

Isaiah 60:1-6: Compare this with Revelation 21:24-26. Both scriptures describe a future time when all the nations will bring their wealth to Israel. We see a picture of this in the wisemen’s journey to Jesus.

Ephesians 3:1-12: As we remember the men from foreign nations who brought their riches to Jesus, Ephesians 3 reminds us that all people of all nations can receive the riches of Jesus’ salvation.

Matthew 2:1-12: The word “wisemen” (magoi in Greek) originally referred to priests in Persia and Babylon who were “experts in mysteries.” By the time of Jesus’ birth, the term was also used for astrologers and students of religious writings. Because they brought such rich treasures to Jesus, at some point people began thinking of them as kings, and because there were three gifts, people pictured three kings. (Info from ESV Study Bible)

Treasure

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
Amen and Amen! (Psalm 72:18-19)

You alone do wondrous things.

You hold this new year in your hand,

and I trust that you hold me also.

We Three Kings

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

Refrain

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

Born a King on Bethlehem’s 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.

–John H. Hopkins, Jr., quoted at Cyberhymnal.org

Photo Credit: Ruth J. Leamy

 

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