Reformation 500 Festival in Brenham

Here I Stand Reformation

Area Lutheran Churches are working together in various ways to help celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.  This is when Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the Castle Church Door in Wittenberg, Germany.

This photo shows the door as it is today.  The original door was destroyed long ago in a war.

Wittenberg Door

Here I Stand…

500th Anniversary of the Reformation

The ELCA churches of the Brazos Valley have united to host a celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

 

Workshops on the Reformation and Justice                    

Saturday, Oct. 28th, 9am-12pm       

Come learn more about how the Reformation connects with matters of justice in our world today, and how we as Christians are called to stand for God’s justice. (hosted at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brenham)

See the details of each workshop listed later in this article.

 

Reformation Worship at the Brenham High School Auditorium                      

Sunday, Oct. 29th, 10:30am

Several ELCA churches in the Brenham area are gathering for one huge, Spirit-filled worship, at the Brenham High School Auditorium.

Lunch to follow at 12pm in the BHS Cafeteria, $10 tickets can be purchased at any participating ELCA church.

MLLC will have its regularly scheduled services this weekend (Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday at 10:00 a.m.)

 

 

Workshops on Justice and the Reformation

In celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

Saturday, October 28th, 9am-12pm

Hosted at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brenham

 

This will be a morning of workshops with guest presenters that tie themes from Matthew 25.31-46 with the famous words of Martin Luther: “Here I Stand.” The event is open to anyone interested in learning more about the needs of our local communities and ways to live out God’s justice.

Here I Stand… with the Thirsty: Sam Brannon will speak on “The Future of Water in Texas.” Texas is slated to double its population in 50 years. In a state prone to lengthy droughts, planning for the supply, usage, and conservation of the public water supply is foundational to a healthy future.

Here I Stand… with the Stranger: Join Bishop Michael Rinehart of the ELCA Gulf Coast Synod as he discusses the work of the Lutheran Immigration and Refuge Service (LIRS) and the response of the Christian church to the needs and challenges of immigrants in our world today.  Explore ways in which congregations and individuals can minister to immigrants in different settings and situations.

Here I Stand… with the Naked: Dr. Phebe Simmons, Ed.D, Program Director for Family Promise, Bryan/College Station. Family Promise is an area-wide, volunteer-based, non-profit organization that supports homeless families with children by providing shelter, meals and support services as they work toward self-sufficiency to provide a home for themselves. Dr. Phebe Simmons has been serving as the director of this program since June, 2010.

Here I Stand… with the Sick: “When was it that we saw you sick?” The Rev Carol E. Peterson is an ordained Episcopal Deacon and Faith Community Nurse with many years of experience bridging issues related to health and spirituality. She will first review the historical role of the universal church in ministering to the sick. Participants will then explore the ways faith communities of today provide a wide range of ministries related to health, healing and wholeness.  The group will then identify a variety of practical ways that each one of us can minister to the person in front of us who is dealing with health challenges.

Here I Stand… with the Prisoner: with Daniel Lund, a Synodically Authorized Worship Leader (SAWL) from The Church of the Damascus Road. Daniel Lund will share his experiences in prison ministry as both a lay volunteer in prison ministry, and now as the SAWL & Director of Church of the Damascus Road, a prison ministry in Weatherford, TX. He will also offer ways anyone can become involved in serving in jails and prisons for the Kingdom of God.

Here I Stand… with the Hungry: Mike Bell with Rise Against Hunger will be doing a presentation on issues surrounding hunger and then lead participants in packing send-home meals that will be distributed in local communities. This will be an interactive, service-based workshop.

 

Sponsored by: the Brenham Mission Society and ELCA churches of the Brazos Valley

 

Hurricane Harvey – Special Announcement

Hurricane Harvey

A Letter from Pastor David Tinker

Dear Members and Friends of Martin Luther Lutheran Church of Carmine,

As most of you have heard, there is a hurricane hitting Texas this weekend.  The northern part of the storm is already bringing rain to the Carmine area.  After consideration of the safety of all, Blake Dooley (Council President) and I have decided to cancel the worship services, Sunday School and all activities this weekend (August 26 & 27, 2017).  There were already some activities, such as the Blood Drive, which had been cancelled or postponed due to the storm.  Although we will not be receiving the worst part of Hurricane Harvey, we will be getting a significant amount of rain, likely at least 10-20 inches.  As there are many low water crossings of roads in the area, including Luther Lane, just down the block from MLLC, we felt it was the right thing to do.

Our Shared Ministry Partner Church – Waldeck Lutheran Church – has also cancelled their weekend worship and activities.

Please share this information with others in your life, especially people who are less likely to use the internet or social media.

As you are able, please do these things throughout these days of this difficult storm:

  1. Please tell others, as noted above.
  2. Pray for those who are helping the victims of the storm, and for those victims.
  3. Pay attention to those who are more vulnerable in the community, especially the elderly or sick, as well as families with small children.  See if they need any assistance.
  4. Be ready to serve and help others in the community who are in need.
  5. As you are able, know that the church will receive financial donations to help with hurricane relief.  We will work with our synod to make sure these funds are brought to our partner agencies which will help the victims.  We will publicize other opportunities for helping with hurricane relief as we learn of them.
  6. Take time to pray and read God’s Word this weekend.  At the end of this email I have included our Prayer of the Day and Readings for this weekend.
  7. Plan on gathering for worship this next weekend – September 3.  This will be our Labor Day Weekend worship (in the Fellowship Hall) and picnic.  We will have the Rally Day events on this Sunday as well – blessing of Sunday School teachers, Sunday School Awards, Rally Day Party, etc.
  8. Please remember to make up your missed offerings from this weekend.  You can bring them with you when you are at worship again in the coming weeks, mail them in to the church office, or use our church web site to make your offering to God by credit care, debit card, or bank account.  Remember, all the usual expenses continue even when we have these rare cancellations.  Our online giving link is:   https://mllccarmine.com/online-giving/

Feel free to contact me with any questions.   We look forward to seeing you at worship on September 3 and beyond.

Yours, in Christ’s Service,

Pastor David Tinker

___________________________________

Pastor David J. Tinker

Pastor of Martin Luther Lutheran Church

and Waldeck Lutheran Church
Martin Luther Lutheran Church

211 Luther Ln

P O Box 362

Carmine, TX 78932-0362

979-278-3388 – office in Carmine

979-278-3387 – fax in Carmine

979-278-3380 – Martin Luther Lutheran School

pastordjt@industryinet.com

http://mllccarmine.com

 

Waldeck Lutheran Church

6915 Waldeck Church Ln

Ledbetter, TX 78946

979-249-3802 – office in Waldeck

 

Readings and prayer of the day

for weekend of August 26-27, 2017

 

PRAYER OF THE DAY

O God, with all your faithful followers of every age, we praise you, the rock of our life. Be our strong foundation and form us into the body of your Son, that we may gladly minister to all the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

 

First Reading: Isaiah 51:1-6

Just as God had called Abraham and Sarah and given them many descendants, so now God offers comfort to Zion. God’s deliverance will come soon and will never end.

 

 

1Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,

you that seek the Lord.

Look to the rock from which you were hewn,

and to the quarry from which you were dug.

2Look to Abraham your father

and to Sarah who bore you;

for he was but one when I called him,

but I blessed him and made him many.

3For the Lord will comfort Zion;

he will comfort all her waste places,

and will make her wilderness like Eden,

her desert like the garden of the Lord;

joy and gladness will be found in her,

thanksgiving and the voice of song.
4Listen to me, my people,

and give heed to me, my nation;

for a teaching will go out from me,

and my justice for a light to the peoples.

5I will bring near my deliverance swiftly,

my salvation has gone out

and my arms will rule the peoples;

the coastlands wait for me,

and for my arm they hope.

6Lift up your eyes to the heavens,

and look at the earth beneath;

for the heavens will vanish like smoke,

the earth will wear out like a garment,

and those who live on it will die like gnats;

but my salvation will be forever,

and my deliverance will never be ended.

 

Psalm: Psalm 138

1I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with | my whole heart;

before the gods I will | sing your praise.

2I will bow down toward your holy temple and praise your name, because of your steadfast | love and faithfulness;

for you have glorified your name and your word a- | bove all things.
 3When I called, you | answered me;

you increased my | strength within me.

4All the rulers of the earth will praise | you, O Lord,

when they have heard the words | of your mouth. R

5They will sing of the ways | of the Lord,

that great is the glory | of the Lord.

6The Lord is high, yet cares | for the lowly,

perceiving the haughty | from afar.

7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you | keep me safe;

you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies; your right | hand shall save me.

8You will make good your pur- | pose for me;

O Lord, your steadfast love endures forever; do not abandon the works | of your hands. Amen

 

Second Reading: Romans 12:1-8

In response to God’s merciful activity, we are to worship by living holistic, God-pleasing lives. Our values and viewpoints are not molded by this age, but are transformed by the Spirit’s renewing work. God’s grace empowers different forms of service among Christians, but all forms of ministry function to build up the body of Christ.

 

1I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
  3For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

 

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20

At a climactic point in Jesus’ ministry, God reveals to Peter that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” and Jesus responds with the promise of a church that will overcome the very gates of Hades.

 

13Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

A Great Week at Lutherhill

IMG_4604

The kids from MLLC and Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Round Top have had a great week together at Lutherhill.  Lutherhill Ministries is the area ELCA Lutheran Camp.  It is within the territory of and supported by our own Gulf Coast Synod.

DSC_4304

There were learning and fun events.

DSC_4490 DSC_4323DSC_4572 DSC_4544

 

Chapel time.

IMG_4589DSC_4317IMG_4591

Pool time.

DSC_4465DSC_4436DSC_4459

Meals and visiting with Pastor David Tinker and Pastor John David Nedbalek.  And some clean up time.

IMG_4594 IMG_4597IMG_4599 IMG_4600

 

And some experience with wildlife.

IMG_4582DSC_4389IMG_4605

Thank you to the people of both congregations who made this wonderful week of adventure, fun, learning, service and worship happen.  Also thank you to the families of our youth who worked to make it possible for these young people to have this experience in their faith.

Youth at Lutherhill Camp

MLLC BLC Lutherhill group 2014

This is a busy week at Lutherhill Ministries in La Grange, TX.  Along with youth from a wide variety of communities there is a combined contingent of campers from MLLC and our neighbor ELCA congregation, Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Round Top.  Five youth from MLLC were joined by several others of our friends in Round Top.  They have been spending the week at this excellent camp. See the photo above with all the kids from these congregations – and an extra friend or two.

Several of the youth have attended camp at Lutherhill several times.  One of the youth has lost count, for he has gone to Lutherhill maybe 4, 5 or 6 years in a row.  Some are having their first experience at this camp, and are hoping for many more summers.

We at MLLC are big supporters of Lutherhill and Lutheran/Christian Camping programs.  We also offer a partial “campership” for MLLC members who would like to participate in the summer camp programs at Lutherhill or other Lutheran summer camping programs.

We will post more photos from this week at camp in the next couple of days.  Remember to keep these youth in your prayers as they grow in Christ through the camping programs of Lutherhill Ministries.

 

Welcome to Martin Luther Lutheran School

IMG_3009

(Pictured above:  Pastor David Tinker, MLLS Director Kelli Meinoldt, MLLS Board President, Ed Eargle)

We are very thankful to offer an early childhood eduction and daycare center here at Martin Luther Lutheran Church.  We encourage you to visit the page for our school to find out more about the service and ministry we offer.  Click this link for more information about Martin Luther Lutheran School.

Also, feel free to contact our school director, Kelli Meinholdt, at 979-278-3380, to find out more.

What is Sacred Harp Singing?

Sacred Harp notes

 

For 23 years a group of interested singers have gathered at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Carmine to do Sacred Harp Singing.   These joyful singers and Sacred Harp enthusiasts gather in early April, as noted in their calendar:  “Saturday (only) before First Sunday (in April)”, which is usually on the first Saturday of the month. The people of MLLC are glad to host this special event each year.  This is just one of the many scheduled Sacred Harp Singings each year in Texas.

As noted on the Texas Sacred Harp Singing web site:  “Sacred Harp is religious folk music, which is sung with the aid of a unique shape-note songbook, The Sacred Harp, first published in 1844 by B. F. White and E. J. King. Sacred Harp singers produce a quality of sound, which is strangely compelling. Sung a cappella, the music is distinguished by its considerable use of the minor key and its unusual four-part harmony. ”  A visual sample of the “shape-note” songbook is in the photo above.

On Saturday, April 5, 2014, these interested singers will gather at MLLC in Carmine in the Fellowship Hall (the old church building on the north side of the church campus).   The room is reserved from 10 a.m. until mid-afternoon, so come when you can anytime after 10 a.m.  Some come to sing, others come just to listen and enjoy.  Therefore, everybody is welcome.

Here is a video of the Sacred Harp Singing at MLLC in 2011: click here for video.

 

Souper Bowl of Caring Final Total

ImageWow!  Thank you all very much.  Thanks be to God, the provider of all.

The Lutheran Youth Organization (LYO) of Martin Luther Lutheran Church (MLLC) had the greatest year ever for the Souper Bowl of Caring. After a final accounting of all gifts given our grand total is $907.00.  That means we will be giving $453.50 to each of our chosen local hunger relief charities.

$453.50 will be given to Fishes & Loaves in western Washington County, Texas.

$453.50 will be given to A.M.E.N. (Area Ministries for Emergency Needs) in La Grange, the county seat of our own Fayette County, Texas.

With these donations we can help these hunger relief agencies purchase food items to alleviate hunger in our community.

MLLC is in Carmine, Texas, which is at the Northeast corner of Fayette County. Fishes & Loaves and A.M.E.N. serve the areas closest to Carmine. Our ongoing support of these two agencies is in line with the mission of the national Souper Bowl of Caring.  The mission statement is:  “Using the energy of the Super Bowl to mobilize youth in a united national effort to care for people in their local communities who are hungry and those in need.”

This is a growing ministry of MLLC.  Here is the growth of the giving over the past few years:

In 2010 we collected $156.17.

In 2011 we collected $176.35

In 2012 we collected $233.00

In 2013 we collected $637.74

In 2014 we collected $907.00

Thank you to all who made gifts of any amount to this special project.

Thank you to the numerous youth who gave of their time to receive the donations.

The National Souper Bowl of Caring web site is:  http://www.souperbowl.org/

Reflecting on Ash Wednesday

Image

Adapted by Pr. David Tinker, from an original article by Pr. Thomas L. Weitzel

The Ash Wednesday service at Martin Luther Lutheran Church of Carmine will be on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at 7:00 p.m.

 

This day is something of a slap in the face, especially when one hears the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  The original name – “Day of Ashes” – was a reference to the ancient Christian practice of sprinkling or rubbing ashes on the head or forehead as a sign of one’s mortality.  The same ancient gesture appears in the baptismal liturgy: a cross is traced with oil on the forehead of the person being baptized.  In this simple gesture the person is claimed by Christ.

 

There can be no more solemn and appropriate action on this day than to distribute ashes to all who gather for the beginning of the Lenten season.  Here the young and ole, men and women, rich and poor, learned and simple.  Here the cross is the sign of salvation that all believers share.  It is the sign of death and resurrection.

 

What is Ash Wednesday?

On Ash Wednesday, the community of faith comes face to face with two realities.  First, we confront our own mortality.  None of us lives in this life forever. Secondly, all of us are sinners and need to confess our sin to God.  These two themes (death and sin) are brought together in light of God’s redeeming love in Jesus Christ.  As the Apostle John says in 1 John 1:9b, “…(God) who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  The confession of sin on Sundays reminds us, “In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for his sake God forgives us all our sins.”  The Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) confession also included, “To those who believe in Jesus Christ he gives the power to become the children of God and bestows on them the Holy Spirit.”

 

What are the ashes for?

The “ashes” of Ash Wednesday are rooted in the ancient worship of both the Jewish and Christian communities.  They are a sign of mortality and penance.  Even though we have used the imposition of ashes in our Ash Wednesday worship for many years, they still may seem new or uncomfortable to us.  What we should remember about the ashes is they are a visible sign of our cleansing and rebirth, a recognition of our daily dependence on God for life and a promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

 

Should I receive the ashes?

The ashes are not compulsory by any means.  You may choose, if you wish, to remain in your seat during the imposition of ashes.  But remember that they are a powerful way and a visible way to participate in the call to repentance and reconciliation.  If you choose to participate, come forward at the appropriate time in the liturgy with others desiring the ashes.  The pastor will did his thumb in the ashes and trace the sign of the cross on your forehead.  Afterwards, return to your seat and the liturgy will continue.

 

Pr. Thomas L. Weitzel’s excellent liturgy site is:  http://liturgybytlw.com/

First Communion: Is my child ready to receive?

Image

First Communion Class begins March 9, 2014, at 10:15 a.m.

First Communion will be celebrated on Thursday, April 17, at our 7 p.m. Maundy Thursday Service.

If you would like your child to participate, please contact Pastor David Tinker.  pastordjt@industryinet.com or 979-278-3388

 

How do I know my child is ready to attend First Communion Class?

He/She may. . .

*have expressed interest in participating during worship, perhaps copying your movements at the altar

*have begun to ask questions about why we take Holy Communion

*have begun to reach for the Holy Communion elements which are offered to you

*have a foundation in Christ through attendance in Christian education or worship, or through family conversations, devotions or prayer

*be able to speak about God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) as loving and trustworthy

*pray the Lord’s Prayer and be able to say other simple prayers (such as at bedtime and meals)

 

The following questions can help you determine the readiness of your child to receive her or his first Holy Communion.

 

The most important question is about God’s gift of Grace for your child: 

***** Has your child been baptized?

If your child is not yet baptized, please speak with a pastor to set a date for your child to receive this Sacrament. It is understood that Holy Communion is for the baptized children of God.

 

Other questions to consider:

*Is your child comfortable in various locations around the church, like the altar?

*Does your child have a basic, age-appropriate awareness that God loves him or her?

*Does your child understand the idea of “right” and “wrong”, and can grasp the basic notion of “forgiveness”?

*Will your child extend his or her hands when asked to do so?

*Will your child be able to understand the basic concept that Holy Communion is a gift from God to each person?

*Does your child seem to have a basic trust that they are a child of God?

*Does your child seem interested in what goes on in church during Communion?

*Does your child interact enough with others to receive the bread and wine?

*Is your child aware enough of others in the congregation and their needs to show respect for the communion experience?

*Are you prepared to help make the process positive?

*Are you prepared to continue to fulfill the promises you made at your child’s baptism to bring him or her regularly to the Lord’s Table?

Only the first question requires a “Yes” before your child can be considered ready to receive his or her first communion. Use the others to generate discussion and to plan, in consultation with Pastor David Tinker, for your child’s preparation to begin receiving the sacrament and the gifts it brings.

Contact Pastor David Tinker if you have any questions about Holy Communion. He would be happy to help answer your questions.

 

 

Some history about changes in the practice First Holy Communion:

 

Over a generation ago (1969) many Lutheran congregations began separating First Communion from Confirmation. Thus, they began preparing children to receive their first communion when they reached fifth grade. Both the former American Lutheran Church (ALC) and the former Lutheran Church in America (LCA), predecessor church bodies of our Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), affirmed this practice. In its 1989 publication “A Statement on Communion Practices” the ELCA affirmed the fifth grade and/or ten years of age as an appropriate and desirable guideline for when a young person, after appropriate preparation, may first commune. This is not the end of the story, so please read on.

However, it became apparent that focusing on a particular age as the primary criterion for determining when first communion is received did not adequately consider other important factors, e.g., a child’s maturity, a child’s experience in the church, a child’s family as a supportive context for faith, discipleship and understanding, etc.

After years of study and conversation, in 1997 the ELCA issued a new First Communion guideline as part of a larger document on the centrality of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion in the life of faith.

This document lifts up a biblical based Lutheran understanding of the Sacraments intended to help us avoid a “legalistic” and “mechanical” approach to how parents, pastors, and congregations raise up our children in the Christian faith. Regarding Holy Communion the statement recognizes that:

*“Baptized children may begin to commune on a regular basis at a time determined through mutual conversation that includes the pastor, the child, and the parents or sponsors involved, within the accepted practices of the congregation.”

*“Ordinarily this beginning will occur only when children can eat and drink, and can start to respond to the gift of Christ in the Supper.”

*“In all cases, participation in Holy Communion is accompanied by (instruction) appropriate to the age of the communicant.”

*“There is no command from our Lord regarding the age at which people should be baptized or first communed. Our practice is defined by Christ’s command (“Do this”), Christ’s twin promises of his presence for us and for our need, and the importance of good order in the Church. In all communion practices congregations strive to avoid both reducing the Lord’s Supper to an act effective by its mere performance without faith and narrowing faith to intellectual understanding of Christ’s presence and gifts.”

 

Notes from “The Use of the Means of Grace: A Statement on the Practice of Word and Sacrament”, Augsburg Fortress, 1997, pages 41-43.

The Epiphany of our Lord – January 6

Visit of Magi Icon

 

By Pastor David Tinker

To help us celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord I share with you a favorite poem of mine.  It was written by the great American Poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882).

The Three Kings
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Three Kings came riding from far away,
Melchoir and Gaspar and Baltasar;
Three Wise Men out of the East were they,
And they travelled by night and they slept by day,
For their guide was a beautiful, wonderful star.

The star was so beautiful, large, and clear,
That all the other stars of the sky
Became a white mist in the atmosphere,
And by this they knew that the coming was near
Of the Prince foretold in the prophecy.

Three caskets they bore on their saddlebows,
Three caskets of gold with golden keys;
Their robes were of crimson silk with rows
Of bells and pomegranates and furbelows,
Their turbans like blossoming almond trees.

And so the Three Kings rode into the West,
Through the dusk of night, over hill and dell
And sometimes they nodded with beard on breast,
And sometimes talked, as they paused to rest,
With the people they met at some wayside well.

“Of the child that is born,” said Baltasar,
“Good people, I pray you, tell us the news;
For we in the East have seen his star,
And have ridden fast, and have ridden far,
To find and worship the King of the Jews.”

And the people answered, “You ask in vain;
We know of no king but Herod the Great!”
They thought the Wise Men were men insane,
As they spurred their horses across the plain,
Like riders in haste, and who cannot wait.

And when they came to Jerusalem,
Herod the Great, who had heard this thing,
Sent for the Wise Men and questioned them;
And said, “Go down unto Bethlehem,
And bring me tidings of this new king.”

So they rode away; and the star stood still,
The only one in the gray of morn;
Yes, it stopped, it stood still of its own free will,
Right over Bethlehem on the hill,
The city of David where Christ as born

And the Three Kings rode through the gate and the guard,
Through the silent street, till their horses turned
And neighed as they entered and great inn-yard;
But the windows were closed, and the doors were barred,
And only a light in the stable burned.

And cradled there in the scented hay,
In the air made sweet by the breath of kine,
The little child in the manger lay,
The child, that would be king one day
Of a kingdom not human but divine.

His mother Mary of Nazareth
Sat watching beside his place of rest,
Watching the even flow of his breath,
For the joy of life and the terror of death
Were mingled together in her breast.

They laid their offerings at his feet;
The gold was their tribute to a King,
The frankincense, with its odor sweet,
Was for the Priest, the Paraclete,
The myrrh for the body’s burying.

And the mother wondered and bowed her head,
And sat as still as a statue of stone;
Her heart was troubled yet comforted,
Remembering what the Angel had said
Of an endless reign and of David’s throne.

Then the Kings rode out of the city gate,
With a clatter of hoofs in proud array;
But they went not back to Herod the Great,
For they knew his malice and feared his hate,
And returned to their homes by another way.