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We Three Kings


Brenda DeLauder Columnist

  Each Christmas I look forward to choosing one favorite carol to write about. This year, “We Three Kings of Orient Are” seems to be the carol of choice. According to the information I found, this carol was written, both verse and tune, by Rev. John Henry Hopkins in 1857, for a Christmas pageant.

  During this time of year, usually while driving, I love to sing the old familiar carols. I’m grateful for my childhood choir leaders and my “Mama Pearl” for teaching me the joy of song. I remember when “We Three Kings of Orient Are” was introduced to us by our choir director, “Buz” Bohler. In my mind, I can still hear his rich baritone voice painting a beautiful picture. Getting ready for our Christmas program was a big deal, requiring extra rehearsals and practice at home. It was fun, but I’m sure those teaching us probably grew weary at times. How many Christmas pageants have had squabbles over who would be the lowly shepherds, wearing the rough burlap tunics, and who would be the wise men, wearing the fancy bathrobes and jeweled cardboard crowns? I remember hearing our directors saying things like, “The shepherds were the first to see Jesus, so being a shepherd in the play is a very special role.”

  Like most things in the Bible, there are various interpretations about the time table of occurrences around the birth of Jesus. It is believed the wise men probably came later and not immediately after the birth. Yet at Christmas, most pageants and all the nativity scenes include the wise men. So for those of us who grew up in church, our mental visuals are more on them being there shortly after the shepherds’ visit. The exact time they made the journey was not the focus of importance. The fact they went and presented the Christ Child with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, was the focus to remember. Whether called kings, magi or wise men again holds less importance than the fact they listened to God and obeyed Him. They were summoned by God, who gave them a star to lead them to Mary, Joseph and Jesus, so they too could worship the newborn King.


We Three Kings of Orient Are, bearing gifts we traverse afar

  Picture a star-filled night with three kings from various regions, riding camels across vast open land. Anyone seeing them could tell they were royalty by their attire. Their robes were made of the finest materials. They were men of wealth, coming from great distances to bring gifts to the new King.


Field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star

  A light wind blew, occasionally swirling sand around the camels’ feet as they moved across the plains, making their way to the mountains and beyond. Traveling often at night, guided by the star, they moved steadily toward their destination.


 O Star of wonder, star of night. Star with royal beauty bright

  All the heavenly night sky dripped in sparkling stars, yet one star, brilliant and bright, stood out from all the rest. They had no need for maps or GPS, because they were being led by God to see His Son.


Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to Thy Perfect Light.

  The wise men traveled on until the star stood still. They knew they had reached their destination and had indeed found God’s Perfect Light. These wise men knew the child born to Mary, was the King of kings, Lord of lords and would open wide the doors to everlasting love.


  Praise be to God. May we all seek and find Christ in our hearts today. Merry Christmas!


  Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.



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