May this poem bring you Christmas blessings! “The Wise Man” was written by my wife, Kristen, and is printed in a booklet called Poems of a Pilgrim which contains 52 of her poems. If you are interested in a copy of the booklet, please send a check for $7.00 payable to Kristen Sykes to 1655 East Gate Drive, Stone Mountain, Georgia 30087. Please include your address for mailing. May we all be wise men who seek Him to the end of our days. O come let us adore Him, Len and Kristen
THE WISE MAN
My story is long, it might take a while
So make yourself comfortable, sit, listen my child
The actual events happened so long ago
But the content holds Truth you truly must know.
My name is Balthasar, a king from the east
Of knowledge, of study, my life’s been a feast
I’ve read all the wisdom printed in scrolls
I’ve studied the stars when night’s sky unrolls.
My heart’s been as interested as much as my head.
In my search for Truth by Truth I’ve been led
Across the far miles and through many years
The words of the Hebrews have come to my ears.
They write of one God, their words are profound
Their doctrine rings true, their view of man sound
For our condition they speak of a solution
To save us from self and sin’s dissolution.
The Messiah, Anointed One, Deliverer, Christ
Would be born among them to bring all men life
King of the Jews, His beautiful title
His word and His life to all mankind vital.
But when, oh true God, would His coming be
I long to know, I long to see
Include me, Oh Lord, in this great event
For to it and toward it is my whole soul bent.
He led me to study the movement of stars
His glory proclaimed from the heavens afar
The firmament’s speech I sought to translate
And discover myself the time and the date.
The months they were passing, my intensity grew
My efforts frustrated, I couldn’t break through
In prayers of struggle humility came
I needed others to share in the fame.
Of course, how wonderful, sharing my search
No longer alone on my lonely perch
He impressed on my mind the two men to write
I told of my work and sent an invite.
They were ecstatic and at once responded
We three were by God in our hearts bonded
They packed in haste and came quickly to me
Kings of the Orient, wise men now three.
They brought out their scrolls, their maps and their charts
We pooled our knowledge, combined our arts
Until we were certain we saw in the east
His star rise and beckon to follow, nor cease.
Months it would take us to travel so far
Cross mountains, through deserts, where strange countries are
Yet we had no fear of robbers or thieves
His Spirit so filled us, He gave our hearts ease.
Praise God for the camel, a reliable beast
The best transportation to travel the east
We carefully packed, all manner of goods
Our money, our charts, our clothes, and our foods.
Each of us picked out a gift very prayerfully
Each of us wrapped it and loaded it carefully
Each gift a title of the Child’s holy calling
Each title like haloes around His head falling.
At last we were ready, we left before dawn
We were westward headed, by the star drawn
Our caravan trundled its way out of town
Our group unique—one fair, one dark, one brown.
Our faces showed the greatness of this coming King.
All races and tribes to Himself He would bring
Men look at the outward, this Man at the heart
Any may come; no one told to depart.
We rested by day and traveled by night
The guiding star keeping our pathway bright
Over mountains, through fields, rivers we crossed
Past cities, through villages, never once lost.
Our journey, a parable of the heart’s lifelong search
For our God Who created us, heaven, and earth
His face we would see, soon His Name we would know
Our lives now with meaning in His purpose to flow.
At Israel’s border our joy was increased
Even the pace was picked up by the beasts
They trotted on with little resistance
Hallelujah! Jerusalem there in the distance!
Jerusalem the Golden, God’s eternal city
High on Zion’s hills, shining and pretty
In the fullness of time we approaching in awe
Grateful, so thankful to see what we saw.
We ascended the hill singing Psalms of Ascents
Understanding more deeply what those Psalmists meant Jerusalem! Jerusalem!
In your gates we are standing
Our prayers for your peace forever unending.
Where is He that is born King of the Jews?
Our burning question—oh give us the news
We’ve come to worship Him, tell us but where
Surely His people know—please send us there.
Our question shook the town from the least to the great
King Herod called priests into the debate
Where do the prophets say Christ will come forth
It was foretold by Micah His place of birth.
Out of you, little Bethlehem, will come the One
To rule my people, His will be done
Herod, in jealousy, sent us to search ‘round
And report back to him when the Baby was found.
Departing for Bethlehem the star went ahead
Til it stopped o’er the spot where He laid His
We were outside the place, our joy was exceeding
We knocked on the door, in voices pleading.
We’ve traversed afar, oh may we come in
We’re here to bow down and worship Him
The door opened wide, we saw His mother Mary
The Babe wrapped in cloths on her lap she did carry.
His Name she called Jesus, meaning salvation
His Name to us and to all the great invitation
Jesus, Messiah, Son of God, Son of Man
King of kings, we kings lay our crowns in the sand.
Gaspar was standing, his hands in the air
Melchior was kneeling, his eyes all a-stare
I, Balthasar, fell flat facedown in the hay
The awe and the wonder took my breath away.
Oh the great love of God to be born in a stable
The lowest of men to come there would be able
In this humble barn He opened the door
Gave access to all, the rich and the poor.
We made up the portrait the centuries would tell
That whosoever will may drink from the well
We in our finery, the shepherds rough dressed
Equal in His presence where all may be blessed.
Our worship included the gifts that we brought
The three took on meaning for every man’s heart
Expressing our souls in relation to God
Their meaning and purpose had all of us awed.
Gaspar presented the gift of gold
His purity, His kingship, His authority it told
But also it speaks of His work in man’s soul
Whose character He refines, cleanses, makes whole.
Melchior brought frankincense from his bag with care
Its fragrant smoke shows forth every man’s
Groans, lamentations, petitions, and cries
God hearing all down to the softest of sighs.
I, Balthasar, with tears gave Him myrrh
Foretelling His sorrows, His sacrifice pure
His anguish and agony, His death on the tree
His sinless blood shed for you and for me.
Bearing our shame and our sin in His death
Forgiving us freely with His last breath
That we might enter in to all that is He
Righteousness, peace, life eternally.
This One you can trust with your failures and pain
He understands suffering as none other can
This kind of love we can hardly fathom
Descended in brokenness from the first Adam.
His Being forever engraved on our hearts
We finally were able to rise and depart
We rested, we slept, God spoke in a dream
Go not back to Herod, avoid His dark scheme.
We awoke to concur in the word without doubt
And headed back east by a different route
To spend what remained of our earthly days
Testifying to Jesus and singing God’s praise.
While the star in the heavens was fading away
The Daystar arose in our hearts there to stay
As our physical journey came to an end
Our spiritual growth in earnest began.
The Son that was born of Abraham’s daughter
Himself Heaven’s Bread, Himself Living Water
Be wise like we wise men; your trip is not far
From standing to kneeling, your heart’s door ajar.
He is your Savior, the Bright Morning Star
Who makes beauty from ashes, makes peace from
Be robed in His righteousness, clothed in His
Reflecting His glory, beholding His face.
Your faith is more precious than silver or gold
Eternity spent in His royal household
Immersed in true love, which no man can buy
Your joys numberless as the stars in the sky.