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after Matthew 2:1-12

From distant regions of the east they came,
Wise Magi, searching for a royal son,
Into Jerusalem with single aim:
Determined, they, until their search was done.

“Where is this little one, now born the King,
The ruler of your citizens, the Jews?
His rising star we have been following.
To worship him we’ve spent our revenues.”

When word had spread to Herod’s royal court
Both king and city lords were vexed and torn.
He summoned then the priests and scribal sort
To learn where the Messiah might be born.

They gave him this reply: “In Bethlehem,
Predicted by the prophet’s prescient pen:
From Jews the bearer of a diadem
Shall come to shepherd Israel again!”

This prophecy was like an irksome scar.
Wherefore the king subpoenaed said Magi
To learn when first they’d seen the guiding star,
In hopes they’d with his stratagem comply.

Said he, “Go now to Bethlehem and search
Until you find the child, but this I pray:
Inform me; do not leave me in the lurch—
I wish to go and worship him straightway!”

The Magi took their leave from Herod’s court
And on their way the star appeared again.
Therewith they had a most divine transport
Toward the destiny of these glad men—

Elated with extreme exuberance
And guided by the star, they straightway found
In house Maria, Yoseph, child; their stance
Abandoned as they fell upon the ground!

The boy was worshiped by his august guests
Who placed before the lad their gifts of gold,
And frankincense, and myrrh, yet more bequests
Befitting highest royalty of old!

Therewith the Magis’ mission finishing—
The little prince’s peril now at play—
Advised in vision to avoid the king,
The Magi then returned another way.

The little boy, perceived as royal threat
By Herod King, was spared by Providence:
The Magi did not aid nor did abet
The vice arrayed in virtuous pretense

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Jeff Kemper has been a biology teacher, biblical studies instructor, editor, and painting contractor. He lives with his wife, Sue, in York County, Pennsylvania.


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