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.
Ezekiel 3:18; Matthew 2:1–12; John 4:35; Ephesians 1:3–8; James 5:19, 20.