AS WITH GLADNESS MEN OF OLD
William C. Dix, 1837–1898
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi (Wise Men) from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the One who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:1, 2)
The period in the church year that begins with January 6 and extends to Ash Wednesday is known as Epiphany.
Epiphany marks the time that the Christ Child was revealed to the wise men in His first manifestation to the Gentiles as the Light of the whole world. It is generally believed by Bible scholars that these wise men from the East arrived approximately 2 years after the birth of Christ. The earnestness of their search, their worship and gifts, and their desire to return home to share their spiritual experience with others have much to teach us. In many churches, Epiphany is ushered in with a special week of prayer, a renewed commitment to evangelism, and a worldwide concern for missions.
Epiphany should be a strong reminder to all Christians that God wants not only our worship but also our willingness to share His message with others both at home and abroad. The gospel of good news must be heard beyond the walls of our church buildings. May we be challenged to share God’s love both by word and deed with those He brings into our lives each day.
As with gladness men of old did the guiding star behold—as with joy they hailed its light, leading onward, beaming bright—so, most gracious Lord, may we evermore be led to Thee.
As with joyful steps they sped to that lowly manger bed, there to bend the knee before Him whom heav’n and earth adore. So may we with willing feet ever seek Thy mercy seat.
As they offered gifts most rare at that manger rude and bare, so may we with holy joy, pure and free from sin’s alloy, all our costliest treasures bring, Christ, to Thee, our heav’nly King.
Holy Jesus, every day keep us in the narrow way; and, when earthly things are past, bring our ransomed souls at last where they need no star to guide, where no clouds Thy glory hide.
For Today: Ezekiel 3:18; Matthew 2:1–12; John 4:35; Ephesians 1:3–8; James 5:19, 20.
Reflect once again on the importance of the wise men—their difficult journey to Bethlehem, their worship and gifts, and the return to their homelands to share what they had learned. Then begin this Epiphany season with the prayer—
Osbeck, K. W.
- When I shall say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die, and thou givest not him warning, nor speakest to admonish the wicked of his wicked way, that he may live, the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity: but his blood will I require at thine hand. Ezekiel 3:18
- When Jesus then was born at Bethlehem in Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came Wise men from the East to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is the King of the Jews that is born? for we have seen his star in the Esat, and come to worship him. When king Herod heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And gathering together all the chief Priests and Scribes of the people, he asked of them, where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, At Bethlehem in Judea: for so it is written by the Prophet, And thou Bethlehem in the land of Judah, art not the least among the Princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come the governor that shall feed my people Israel. Then Herod privily called the Wise men, and diligently inquired of them the time of the star that appeared, And sent them to Bethlehem, saying, Go, and search diligently for the babe: and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come also, and worship him. So when they had heard the king, they departed: and lo, the star which they had seen inthe East, when before them, till it came and stood over the place where the babe was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with an exceeding great joy. And went into the house, and found the babe with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him, and opened their treasures, and presented unto him gifts, even gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And after they were warned of God in a dream, that they should not go again to Herod, they returned into their country another way. Matthew 2:1–12
- Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the regions: for they are white already unto harvest. John 4:35
- Blessed be God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which hath blessed us, with all spiritual blessing in heavenly things in Christ, As he doth chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love: Who hath predestined us, to be adopted through Jesus Christ in himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherewith he hath made us freely accepted in his beloved. By whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to his rich grace: Whereby he hath been abundant toward us in all wisdom and understanding, Ephesians 1:3–8
- Brethren, If any of you hath erred from the truth, and some man hath converted him, Let him know that he which hath converted the sinner from going astray out of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20