Lingering on Epiphany

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Princeton University Chapel.  Photo by Evan Schneider.

Our pastor shared this poem, from Jan Richardson with us, on Ephiphany, and it has stuck with me.  In fact, though Ephiphany has passed and we are eleven days into the new year, I find myself still eagerly greeting others with “Happy New Year,” still lingering over the blessings of Jesus’ birth and a holy season.

Perhaps, as the poem conjures, I’m both reluctant and eager to tread this new path, to embrace and forge ahead into this new year.  Whatever the case, here are some beautiful blessings for the journey, for all those traversing new ground:

For Those Who Have Far to Travel
An Epiphany Blessing

By Jan Richardson

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.

– See more at: http://paintedprayerbook.com/2011/12/31/epiphany-blessing-for-those-who-have-far-to-travel/#sthash.CPxxKxqo.dpuf

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