Saturday, January 3, 2009

Wee Three Kings

Sunday, January 4, 2009
The Epiphany of the Lord
(Mat 2:1-12)

As a kid I also thought that the three kings from the Orient were tiny, dwarfish people with little crowns on their heads. My imagination had a lot to do with the popular Christmas tune that goes: "Wee three kings of Ooo-rient are, Beaaar-ring gifts we travers a-far...", of which the Ray Conniff version remains my favorite, to this day.

As I started reading the bible I started getting it straight. First I found out that there was no mention at all how many "kings" there really were, and certainly it is possible that there were more than three of them. There could be at least three, to correspond to the three gifts of gold, incense and myrrh.
Funny, I also thought that their names were Gaspar, Melchor and Baltazar. However, Matthew simply referred to them as the wise men from the east.

The wise men could have been respected priests and seers of the Zoroastrian religion. Here they stand for all the non-biblical religions. While the Jewish priests, chiefs of the people of God, do not receive notice of the birth of Jesus, God communicates the news to some of his friends in the pagan world. This lesson is good for all times: Jesus is the savior of all people.

The other lesson and a most fascinating one, is towards the end of the verses.
We are told that the wise men went home another way to avoid Herod. It must have been a longer detour, but it was the right way to go. The story is saying that once you have really experienced Jesus, you can't go back to the old way of life.

Now I know they were not tiny people, and that they were really wise.

As another year starts: O Star of wonder, star of night...Guide us to Thy perfect light!


petrufied said...

though i never looked at them as wee, the three kings have always fascinated me because of how different they looked from the other characters in the belen set. i found your insights very helpful ;) happy new year!

WillyJ said...

Yeah and I heard you have a nice belen decoration. Happy New Year too!