O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried on the hip. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult, because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the Lord. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you; the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you; they shall come up with acceptance on my altar, and I will beautify my beautiful house.
Who are these that fly like a cloud, and like doves to their windows? For the coastlands shall hope for me, the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your children from afar, their silver and gold with them, for the name of the Lord your God, and for the Holy One of Israel, because he has made you beautiful.
Give the King your judgments, O God, * and your righteousness to the King’s son.
Then shall he judge your people with righteousness * and defend the poor with justice.
The mountains also shall bring peace, * and the little hills righteousness to the people.
He shall vindicate the poor among the people, * defend the children of the poor, and punish the wrongdoer.
They shall fear you as long as the sun and moon endure, * from one generation to another.
He shall come down like the rain upon the mown grass, * even as showers that water the earth.
In his time shall the righteous flourish, * even an abundance of peace, so long as the moon endures.
His dominion shall be also from one sea to the other, * and from the river unto the world’s end.
Those who dwell in the wilderness shall kneel before him; * his enemies shall lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall give presents; * the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring gifts.
All kings shall fall down before him; * all nations shall do him service.
For he shall deliver the poor when he cries, * the needy also, and the one that has no helper.
He shall be favorable to the lowly and needy, * and shall preserve the lives of the poor.
He shall deliver them from falsehood and wrong, * and dear shall their blood be in his sight.
Long may he live! And unto him shall be given the gold of Arabia; * prayer shall ever be made unto him, and daily shall he be blessed
There shall be an abundance of grain on the earth, thick upon the hilltops; * its fruit shall flourish like Lebanon, its grain like the grass upon the earth.
His Name shall endure for ever; his Name shall remain as long as the sun. * All the nations shall be blessed through him and shall call him blessed.
Blessed be the Lord God, even the God of Israel, * who alone does wondrous things;
And blessed be the Name of his majesty for ever; * and all the earth shall be filled with his majesty. Amen, Amen.
+Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; world without end. Amen.
For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
Artwork: “The Adoration of the Three Kings”, Gyula (Julius) Benczur, 1911.