O GOD, Who by the leading of a star didst manifest Thy Only-begotten Son to the Gentiles: Mercifully grant, that we, who know Thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of Thy glorious Godhead; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son. our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
-- Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church
Epiphany ends the Christmas season and celebrates the revealing of God's Messiah, Jesus Christ, to the Gentiles--as witnessed by the journey and visit of the Magi / Wise Men in Matthew 2. There is perhaps no better commentary on this day and the collect above than the words of the beloved hymn by John Hopkins, "We Three Kings." Here the young Jesus is worshiped as king, God, and sacrifice...a wonderful summary of his life and ministry on earth.
We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar.
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.
Born a king on Bethlehem's plain,
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign.
Frankincense to offer have I.
Incense owns a Deity nigh.
Prayer and praising all men raising,
Worship Him, God on high.
Myrrh is mine: Its bitter perfume
Breaths a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.
Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice.
Sounds through the earth and skies.
Star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash