Sunday, January 1, 2012

Advent, Christmas, Epiphany Readings

My readings for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany has been Jan Richardson's book shown above.

The publisher's blurb states

"Jan's original artwork, reflections, poetry, and prayers accompany the reader from the first days of Advent through the Feast of the Epiphany, beckoning us to encounter the God who dwells in darkness as well as in daylight."

Today, New Year's Day, 2012, especially spoke to me. Here is the reading.

Wise Women Also Came

Wise women also came.
The fire burned
in their wombs
long before they saw
the flaming star
in the sky.
They walked in shadows,
trusting the path
would open
under the light of the moon.

Wise women also came,
seeking no directions,
no permission
from any king.
The came
by their own authority,
their own desire,
their own longing.
The came in quiet,
spreading no rumor,
sparking no fears
to lead
to innocents' slaughter,
to their sister Rachel's
inconsolable lamentations.

Wise women also came,
and they brought
useful gifts:
water for labor's washing,
fire for warm illumination,
a blanket for swaddling.

Wise women also came,
at least three of them,
holding Mary in the labor,
crying out with her
in the birth pangs,
breathing ancient blessing
into her ear.

Wise women also came,
and they went,
as wise women always do,
home a different way.

In this and every season
may we see them,
the wise ones
who come bearing
your gifts to us.

They cloak themselves in garb
that rarely draws attention,
but they are there
at the edge of the shadows,
in the margins of our days,
on the threshold of our awareness,
offering what we most need.

Give us eyes to see them now,
before they have left
to go home some other way,
before we glimpse
their departing shadows
edged in gold
and smell their spiced perfume
lingering behind them
in the air.

No comments: