Echoes From the Campfire

There’s no limit to what a man can do once he makes up his mind he ain’t allergic to sweat.”
              –Elmer Kelton (The Man Who Rode Midnight)

    “He who is slothful in his work Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.”
              –Proverbs 18:9 (NKJV)
Here’s another old carol, written in the 13th century, that we seldom hear any more.  I haven’t heard it outside my own CDs in many, many years.  It begins with the story of a man who met the three kings (wise men) on their way to see the newborn Christ-child.  In this song they are seen as “valiant warriors” rather than just “wise men.” 

                    Three great kings I met at early morn
                    With all their retinue were slowly marching
                    Three great kings I met at early morn
                    Were on their way to meet the newly born
                    With gifts of gold brought from far away
                    And valiant warriors to guard the royal treasure
                    With gifts of gold brought from far away
                    Their shields all shining in their bright array

As the song continues, we should be thankful for the mercy and grace that God has bestowed upon us through the year.  We have made it through another year due to His amazing grace.  Here, in the second verse, the child is now the Redeemer and Father who has turned the dark future that once was mankind’s into light.  As the kings marched to find the child following the star, we should now march to face the foes as the Savior arms us for the fight.

                    For Thy mercy and Thy grace
                    Constant through another year
                    Hear our song of thankfulness
                    Father and Redeemer hear
                    Dark the future; let Thy light
                    Guide us, bright and morning star
                    Fierce our foes and hard the fight
                    Arm us Savior for the war

The third verse finds man in the reality of life.  We are weak and often in distress as we trod through this life.  We should be like the kings as they marched on to find the king.  As they went through the wilderness in their search, so we should take heart, and go through the wilderness in which we find ourselves.  He will help keep us faithful and pure.  In this life we will have to endure many hardships.  The only way in which we can get through them is by following the true Light.

                    In our weakness and distress
                    Rock of strength be Thou our stay
                    In the pathless wilderness
                    Be our true and living way
                    Keep us faithful; keep us pure
                    Keep us evermore Thine own
                    Help, O help us to endure
                    Fit us for the promised crown.

This is what I call a “power” song.  It is majestic and gives the sense of awe and wonder as the kings march to find the Child bringing Him gifts.  Take time to seek it out this season it will be worth your while to listen to the “March of the Kings.”