Historical accuracy cannot erase fond memories of We Three Kings in Virginia Christmas past

Cheryl E Preston
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How many magi were presentPhoto byInbal MalcaonUnsplash

We Three Kings is popular in Christmas culture

Today I ran across the 2020 film We Three Kings on Tubi television. Gospel singer Michael W Smith stars as the adult Charles Fay in this story of 3 siblings, two sisters, and their younger brother dealing with their mother's death. To ease their grief they decide to put on a Christmas pageant for their church.

The little boy Charles says he wants to be the king who carries the gold and he is told that the Bible does not say there were 3 Kings. In Virginia, you will see Nativity scenes, live Nativity, and church programs this time of year where the 3 Magi,(Wisemen) are depicted as bringing gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Christ Child.

We Three Kings is a holiday staple

Before my youngest was born my two older children were invited to participate in Christmas plays at their dad's church Greater Mt. Zion Baptist. Men in the congregation always portrayed the 3 Magi. Churches across the Commonwealth I have visited over the decades also celebrated the 3 Wisemen.

In the church I attended Blue Ridge Baptist, there were the same 3 Deacons for almost all of my life. Harry Hobson. Alfred Williams and Edward Saunders walked down the aisle singing We Three Kings of Orient Are in their deep baritone voices for at least 20 years. They were always so somber and serious as they presented their gifts to the baby Jesus (a doll).

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Where the magi at the nativity or did they show up 2 years later in a house?Photo byRick OldlandonUnsplash

The Magi number and arrival date have been challenged

It is now believed that there was a caravan of magi which would be more than 3 traveling across the desert. Wikipedia and other online publications reveal that Bible scholars now say that the kings were not present at the nativity and found a boy Jesus in a house two years later.

When 3 men in deep voices began singing We Three Kings in the film it brought back so many memories from the Commonwealth. If it is historically accurate that there were more than 3 wisemen and they found a young child in a house it will not erase decades of memories in Virginia churches.


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I am a native Virginian who writes, about breaking news, nutrition, history, celebrities, and current events that are of interest to those living in the Commonwealth.

Roanoke, VA
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