SERMON: The First Sunday After The Epiphany by David Curry

January 8, 2017

Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2) The twelve days of Christmas end with the Feast of Epiphany, the last and great festival of Christmas. Epiphany is, as it were, the Christmas of the Gentiles, for in the journey of the Magi-Kings, the birth of Christ is made known to all the nations of the world. As a 17th century Anglican divine, Bishop John Cosin of Durham puts it: Christmas has been indeed a feast of joy to us all this while but our fullness of joy comes not until now, for the Angelic tidings of joy came first to the shepherds, to Israel, to those near at hand, but upon this feast it is omni populo (to all people), news which the star brought to all the world, and to us [...]

POETRY: The First Sunday After Epiphany by John Keble

January 10, 2016

They shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water-courses.   (Isaiah 44:4) Lessons sweet of spring returning, Welcome to the thoughtful heart! May I call ye sense or learning, Instinct pure, or heav’n-taught art? Be your title what it may, Sweet the lengthening April day, While with you the soul is free, Ranging wild o’er hill and lea. Soft as Memnon’s harp at morning, To the inward ear devout, Touch’d by light, with heavenly warning your transporting chords ring out. Every leaf in every nook, Every wave in every brook, Chanting with a solemn voice, Minds us of our better choice. Needs no show of mountain hoary, Winding shore or deepening glen, Where the landscape in its glory Teaches truth to wandering men— Give [...]

BLESSING: For Those Who Have Far To Travel by Jan Richardson

January 6, 2016

From Circle of Grace 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 [...]

POETRY: A Sonnet For Epiphany by Malcolm Guite

January 6, 2016

It might have been just someone else’s story, Some chosen people get a special king. We leave them to their own peculiar glory, We don’t belong, it doesn’t mean a thing. But when these three arrive they bring us with them, Gentiles like us, their wisdom might be ours; A steady step that finds an inner rhythm, A  pilgrim’s eye that sees beyond the stars. They did not know his name but still they sought him, They came from otherwhere but still they found; In temples they found those who sold and bought him, But in the filthy stable, hallowed ground. Their courage gives our questing hearts a voice To seek, to find, to worship, to [...]

POETRY: Twelfth Night by Philip Booth

January 5, 2016

At Twelfth Night twilight now the greens burn bright: the dry-spined wreath and bittersweet returned to frozen earth, Canada fir become the fire that wreathes a ritual circle in the snow. The decorations are first to flame: old mistletoe and holly go up in a burst of charred berry, their holy roots tossed on, a burnt seed sown, long after the symbol and song are lost. Uprooted meanings flare like watchfires in this cold backyard. A single star outshines the ice. Unheard, the Magi raise their prayer; a blaze of balsam climbs the still and brittle air. At Twelfth Night twilight now the tree must be the final torch, a coronal to melt the dark; the branch that angels swung on, Christ hung on, quick tinder lit to ebb the tidal snow. From slow [...]

POETRY: Carol Of The Brown King by Langston Hughes

December 29, 2015

Of the three Wise Men Who came to the King, One was a brown man, So they sing. Of the three Wise Men Who followed the Star, One was a brown king From afar. They brought fine gifts Of spices and gold In jeweled boxes Of beauty untold. Unto His humble Manger they came And bowed their heads In Jesus’s name. Three Wise Men, One dark like me— Part of His [...]

SERMON: A Homily For The Feast Of Epiphany by John Chrysostom

April 19, 2015

When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Judea, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying: Where is that is born king of the Jews. For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him. Isaias had foretold that this would come to pass, saying: The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Apha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and showing forth praise to the Lord. (Isaiah 60:) This is He, Christ the Lord, whom the Magi, having seen the sign of the star, announce as the King of the Jews. Things unheard of, and exceeding the measure of human astonishment, all took place together at the birth of our Lord. An angel appears and speaks to Zachary, promising that [...]

CHRISTMAS MEDITATION: The Fullness of the Time by Joan Chittister

January 10, 2013

From The Liturgical Year There’s a popular folk tale about three blind men who walk around an elephant to determine what kind of beast this animal might be.  One takes hold of the elephant’s tail and says, “This creature is very like a rope.”  The second happens to take hold of its tusk and says, “This creature is very like a spear.”  And the third, patting the wide, hard side of the animal, says, “This creature is surely a wall.”  Obviously, if any one of them had all three insights at once, these men would have understood a great deal more about elephants than any one of them could possibly know alone. Liturgical spirituality is a bit like that as well.  Each season has a great consuming centerpiece on which we [...]

POETRY: Love Alone by Gian Carlo Menotti

January 6, 2013

The Child we seek doesn’t need our gold. On love, on love alone he will build his kingdom. His piercéd hand will hold no scepter, his haloed head will wear no crown; his might will not be built on your toil. Swifter than lightning he will soon walk among us. He will bring us new life and receive our death, and the keys to his city belong to the [...]