WE THREE KINGS OF ORIENT ARE                                          written in 1857

The Story

Everyone knows the wise men brought gifts, but what was the significance of those gifts?

John Henry Hopkins (1820-1891), an Episcopalian minister, pondered this question in 1857… and then wrote this popular after-Christmas carol.

Gold was a gift for a king. Frankincense was brought by priests as they worshiped God in the Temple. Myrrh was a spice used in burial. So, the wise men honored Jesus as King, God, and sacrifice.

John Henry clearly spelled this out in verses 2,3,&4.

So, how are we to approach this Babe of Bethlehem? What can we bring the King of kings? What incense can we offer as priests of our God? How can we recognize the divine Sacrifice in our daily lives.

Part of discipleship is discovering the answer for ourselves… and living it out in our everyday lives.

The Song

Read this after-Christmas hymn, and – today – give a treasured gift from yourself to God.

We three kings of Orient are

bearing gifts we traverse afar.
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
following yonder star.


O star of wonder, star of night,
star of royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding,
guide us to thy perfect light.

Born a king on Bethlehem’s plain,
gold I bring to crown Him again;
King forever, ceasing never
over us all to reign. (Chorus)

Frankincense to offer have I.
Incense owns a Deity nigh.
Prayer and praising all men raising,
worship Him, God on high. (Chorus)

Myrrh is mine: Its bitter perfume
breaths a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrow, sighing, bleeding, dying,
sealed in a stone-cold tomb. (Chorus)


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