Nine Lessons for Christmas
5. The Visit of the Magi
reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
Then Herod called the magi
and ascertained from them the
time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and
“Go and search diligently for
When you have found him,
bring me word,
that I too may go and do him
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they
had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over
the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing
and on entering the house they
saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and
did him homage.
Then they opened their
and offered him gifts of gold,
frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a
dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country
by another way.
The magi’s reverent actions demonstrate that
Jesus is worthy of praise.
These Old Testament texts lead
to the interpretation of the magi as kings:
“May the kings of
Tarshish and the islands bring tribute, the kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts.” -Psalm 72:10
“Long may he live, receiving
gold from Sheba, prayed for without cease, blessed day by day. -Psalm 72:15
“Caravans of camels shall cover
you, dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;
All from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and heralding the praises of the LORD.”
Eternal God, this joyful day is
radiant with the brilliance of your one true light. May that light illuminate our hearts and
shine in our words and deeds. May the hope, the peace,
the joy, and the love represented by the birth in Bethlehem fill our lives and
become part of all that we say and do. May we share
the divine life of your son Jesus Christ, even as he humbled himself to share our