Epiphany Day: If You Could See the Journey Whole

TheWiseOnesImage: The Wise Ones © Jan Richardson

Reading from the Gospels for Epiphany Day: Matthew 2.1-12

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
wise men from the East came to Jerusalem.
—Matthew 2.1

Friends, as Epiphany Day draws near, I want to share a blessing with you that first appeared here at The Painted Prayerbook some years ago. In the turning of the sacred year, this day of mystery and light continues to be a favorite of mine. I pray that no matter how hidden your path may become, you will be attended with mercies and wonders in every step. Blessings to you!

For Those Who Have Far to Travel
A Blessing for Epiphany

If you could see
the journey whole,
you might never
undertake it,
might never dare
the first step
that propels you
from the place
you have known
toward the place
you know not.

Call it
one of the mercies
of the road:
that we see it
only by stages
as it opens
before us,
as it comes into
our keeping,
step by
single step.

There is nothing
for it
but to go,
and by our going
take the vows
the pilgrim takes:

to be faithful to
the next step;
to rely on more
than the map;
to heed the signposts
of intuition and dream;
to follow the star
that only you
will recognize;

to keep an open eye
for the wonders that
attend the path;
to press on
beyond distractions,
beyond fatigue,
beyond what would
tempt you
from the way.

There are vows
that only you
will know:
the secret promises
for your particular path
and the new ones
you will need to make
when the road
is revealed
by turns
you could not
have foreseen.

Keep them, break them,
make them again;
each promise becomes
part of the path,
each choice creates
the road
that will take you
to the place
where at last
you will kneel

to offer the gift
most needed—
the gift that only you
can give—
before turning to go
home by
another way.

—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

P.S. And Merry Women’s Christmas, too!
My new retreat for Women’s Christmas (which some folks in Ireland and beyond celebrate on Epiphany/January 6) has just been released. It’s a retreat that you can download at no cost and use anytime you wish throughout the year. For a link to the retreat and more about Women’s Christmas, click the Wise Women image or the title below. You are most welcome to share the retreat gift with others.

Wise Women Also Came
Women’s Christmas 2020: What the Light Shines Through

Using Jan’s artwork…

To use the image “The Wise Ones,” please visit this page at janrichardsonimages.com. Your use of janrichardsonimages.com helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Advent special! During this season, subscribe to Jan Richardson Images and receive unlimited digital downloads for use in worship for only $125 per year (regularly $165). Click Subscribe to sign up. (Extended through Epiphany Day/January 6!)

Using Jan’s words…
For worship services and related settings, you are welcome to use Jan’s blessings or other words from this blog without requesting permission. All that’s needed is to acknowledge the source. Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com.” For other uses, visit Copyright Permissions.