Epiphany was celebrated on January 6th. On that date the church recalls the arrival of the “magi” or “wise men” at the place of Jesus birth. We are told they arrived by following a star! We are not quite at the end of January and many of us have packed away those “wise men” for another year. The Day of Epiphany marks a short season in the church year. Epiphany runs to the beginning of Lent, on Ash Wednesday, which this year falls on February 17th.
Ponder these words which come from the poet T.S. Eliot in his description of the “wise men” in his poem Journey of the Magi.
A cold coming we had of it, just the worst time of the year for a journey, and such a long journey: The ways deep and the weather sharp, The very dead of winter…were we led all that way for Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly, We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death, but thought they were different; this Birth was Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.https://www.poetryinvoice.com/poems/journey-magi
The gospel story tells us the Magi returned by another way. Ponder this thought – perhaps the time is now to return, to live by another route. This new way is about “death” and “life”. Consider for a moment these “wise men” and their journey to and from the place of birth. What did they anticipate? What stirred in their hearts as the returned? Perhaps, they are us and we are them. Now what? Take a moment to recalibrate and realign.
Holy God, we pause, our hearts beat steady, we breathe in and out. We rejoice in this gift of life and like the magi, we bow before the child in the manger. We seek to travel on, taking new routes doing new things asking more questions trying to stay true to the call of you, O Lord our God. Amen