The eastborn kings brought special gifts
of gold, of myrrh, of frankincense,
which held much deeper symbol than
the givers’ stately opulence.
All stable witnesses did sense
that Mary held a newborn prince,
so gold—it seemed a natural choice,
but why the myrrh and frankincense?
Perhaps the second wise man knew
the kinds of works the child would do—
to serve as priest, to read the Law,
light incense as the holy do.
But present three made Joseph take
a darker look at Jesus’s face,
for precious oils like myrrh were used
to prepare bodies for the grave.
Yet somehow this king understood
before the child’s family ever would
that life would demand sacrifice
and death upon a cross of wood.
And Jesus did as Priest-King serve
to live and preach the Holy Word;
not only this, he–sinless–dragged
our rebel souls back to the Lord.
But in His body, He did bear
the wounds we sinners never share.
He came, He died, He made a way;
His soul, for us, formed heaven’s stairs.
So let’s thank God for presents—three!—
foretelling love and Satan’s tree.
The gift God gave at Christmastime
was Jesus Christ who sets us free.
And let’s with Mary ponder Him
who by His love makes dark grow dim,
and all year, treasure Him who is
our gold, our myrrh, our frankincense.