The meaning of their gifts was
the tenderness with which they gave.
They gave their sadness also,
knowing his short life,
yet they traveled so far.
Their hearts were filled in return
with wonder, astonishment, love!
They were more than satisfied.
So they led their camels over the hills
by another way, back to the stars.
Everything about the Three Kings or Magi beyond what is mentioned in Matthew's account is fiction, including their number. Matthew's story may be a recounting, a distillation, of a popular fiction (what I'm inclined to believe, but there's still a "truth" to be found). Innumerable legends & stories grew around them, stories still being written. They are the most "oriental" feature of the Christmas narrative. I think this aspect, that they "came from the East," is very important. One can decide for oneself who they are, why they undertook the journey & what the gifts mean.
Labels: Christmas, music, poem
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson