“Wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’” Matthew 2:1-2 ESV
On the church calendar, today is Epiphany a day Christians throughout the centuries have celebrated the coming of magi to bring gifts to the baby Jesus. The motivation was to provide an evangelism tool, to remind believers that Jesus came to save the world.
Epiphany provided particular inspiration for William Dix, who was born in Bristol, England, in 1837. One day, recovering from an illness, as he studied the New Testament, Dix became fascinated with these wise men.
The more he studied, the more he felt that too many Christians focused on these men rather than on Jesus. His conviction inspired him to write the hymn we know as “What Child Is This?”
In this hymn, Dix emphasized Jesus: “What Child is this who, laid to rest on Mary’s lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping?” The point was to celebrate the baby, who was “Christ the King.” It was Jesus “whom shepherds guard and angels sing.” We should praise Him, “the Babe, the Son of Mary.”
As we begin a new year, use this Epiphany day to remember what Jesus has done for you, and assess your own priorities. As Dix wrote, Jesus died that you might be freed from sin. What offering would be appropriate to give the One who changed your life and gave you hope, freedom, and victory?
Today, “bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh” and “enthrone Him” as the king in your heart.
PrayerFather, thank You for all that You have done for me. I give You my life as an offering. I enthrone You as the king of my heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Extended ReadingMatthew 2