The coming of the Kings is celebrated after Christmas. Who were they, these men who
travelled across the known world to follow a star and visit a new King? What did they think when they arrived in a humble place and found a baby? Several years ago I wrote a poem about them. I hope that you will enjoy it today.
They came. Singly at first, yet not alone,
Singly at first, yet not alone,
for they travelled with animals
and servants, each one focused
on a specific destination miles from home.
Across the lonely, weary miles
of desert sands, hot and dry during the day,
cold and clear at night.
A long and dusty quest.
Riding by starlight
which danced like a thousand fireflies
reflected on water; and yet there was no water.
No road, no maps, no signposts,
but, determined, they travelled on.
What drove them in their search?
What was the compulsion that urged them on?
Why did they journey through such inhospitable country
to the point of exhaustion –
the limit of their endurance?
Shining. Blazing like no other star
before or since has done.
A beacon in the heavens bright and clear –
a banner to be followed.
The colours of a King.
Their paths converged.
Three strangers from distant foreign lands.
Attracted to each other by some strange
hunger none of them understood.
Unable to resist the compulsion to travel together.
They rode on
to the palace of the king.
Luxurious surroundings – lavish furnishings
thick rugs, gold plate, fine food.
A king’s residence indeed
How can this portentous starlight child
not be in the palace? Where can he be?
At Bethlehem the suggestion is made
and the travellers ride on into the night.
But there is no palace in Bethlehem
and yet the star shines brighter than ever
and takes them to a rough and rustic inn.
This can’t be right – not here
These are just ordinary people
Is there a child here?
A child? A child? The whisper runs round the inn.
Such very important people looking for a child.
Here, in our inn – is there a child?
Yes, there in the stable at the back.
In the stable?
They look at each other, shocked to the core,
and go to the humble stable where cows and sheep
stand placidly among the straw.
And there – lying in a manger is the Child
they have travelled so far to find.
His parents look up, startled
by the arrival of such grand folk.
The travellers enter and fall to their knees
in front of the Child – giving their priceless gifts
of gold and myrrh and frankincense.
This is the Child!
In the core of their being they know
with absolute certainty that this is the King
they have come to worship.
The King of kings. The Lord of lords.
Then they leave
Returning to their homes in distant lands
awed by the Child they have seen.
This starlight Child who called them from afar
to worship and adore, who changed their lives.