“Sojourn of the Kings” :: Today’s Free Download
James Tissot :: Journey of the Magi
Today’s free download is “Sojourn of the Kings” from the GLORY album (also known as “We Three Kings”). This arrangement has an energetic earthy world-beat groove. It tells the faith journey of the Magi from Matthew 2:1-11:
1-2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah territory— this was during Herod’s kingship—a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, “Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.”
3-4When word of their inquiry got to Herod, he was terrified—and not Herod alone, but most of Jerusalem as well. Herod lost no time. He gathered all the high priests and religion scholars in the city together and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”
5-6They told him, “Bethlehem, Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly:
It’s you, Bethlehem, in Judah’s land,
no longer bringing up the rear.
From you will come the leader
who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel.”
7-8Herod then arranged a secret meeting with the scholars from the East. Pretending to be as devout as they were, he got them to tell him exactly when the birth-announcement star appeared. Then he told them the prophecy about Bethlehem, and said, “Go find this child. Leave no stone unturned. As soon as you find him, send word and I’ll join you at once in your worship.”
9-10Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time!
11They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh. (The Message Bible)
Here are some insights that came to me while reflecting on this well known story:
1/ It is good to be reminded of the countless prophesies that foretold every incredible detail of Jesus’ birth. This is just one of them from the prophet Micah declaring that the Messiah would be born in lowly Bethlehem!
2/ The wise men and women, while on their faith sojourn guided by the star in the eastern sky, upon entering Israel went directly to the capital of Jerusalem (the place where they thought the “King of the Jews” should be born). The moment they decided to enter Jerusalem, it is interesting that they lost sight of the star! They were no longer journeying by faith but were trying to use human reasoning to find King Jesus. They proceeded to ask for help of Herod and other religious leaders. Notice that when the scholars continued on with their journey of faith towards Bethlehem, the star “appeared again” and “led them on until it hovered over the place of the child”!
3/ I love the reaction of these scholars when they found Jesus: “They could hardly contain themselves. They were in the “right place” … “at the right time”! They certainly were in the center of God’s will for their lives at that moment. They show they were men and women of action: They “entered” the house where Jesus was and “saw” him. They fell on their knees, worshiped the King and presented him with gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. God had blessed them for the journey of faith they had taken! May He bless us as we step out in faith and seek Him with our hearts and lives!
Enjoy today’s complementary download: GLORY :: “Sojourn of the Kings” http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/trevordick4
Rembrandt :: Adoration of the Magi
Wonderful insight! I really love the paintings that you are attaching to these blog posts.
Thank you Judith. There is so much to be learned from the Christmas story (hidden gems) … and the richness of art through the ages depicting the story is also quite amazing.