We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar, field and fountain, moor and mountain following yonder star. So goes the opening verse of the 1857 Christmas carol. From it we gain a lot about the story of the wise men. But did you notice 2 major assumptions the song writer makes that may not be accurate. They’re found in the first phrase; we three kings.
We actually don’t know if there were only three of them. The Bible’s account talks about 3 gifts which have led some to assume that there were three of them. We also don’t really know if they were kings. The account doesn’t describe them as kings. And there is one other major assumption people make about the wise men every Christmas. In fact, some of you likely have this assumption displayed somewhere in your home. Those of you who have been around here for a while know what I’m talking about. What is it? It’s most likely the wise men were not at the manger.
We may think we know the story of the wise men well. But upon closer examination, we may discover how much of the story we have assumed, revised or added in. So what will we do about this?