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A Prayer for Epiphany

May this holy season be for each of us
A time of moving beyond what is “reasonable”
And toward the star of wonder;
Moving beyond grasping tight to what we have
To unclenching our hands and letting go,
Following the Light where it leads;
Moving beyond competition toward cooperation,
Seeing that all humans are sisters and brothers.
Moving beyond the anxiety of small concerns
Towards the joys of justice and peace.
May the transforming acceptance of Mary and Joseph,
The imagination of the shepherds,
And the persistence of the wise men
Guide us as we seek the Truth,
Always moving toward the Divine promise.
Always aware God can be hidden in the frailest among us,
Always open to the unexpected flash of Grace,
To the showing forth of that Love that embraces us all.

– John Nash, UMC Pastor in New Mexico

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New Year Poem

Some speak of lives
Long or short-lived
But in truth
The time that is ours
That promised to us
Stretches to infinity
Let us be busy then –
Let no window refuse
The Light of Christ
May His goodness
Illuminate
Penetrate
Every pane, every corner
Until the soul of the house
Like crystal shines
In the light of the sun
And the walls of the house
Are but veils
Lifting to new horizons.

– Veritas, Belfast, Co. Antrim, Ireland

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A poem by Mary Oliver (“And Bob Dylan Too”):

Anything worth thinking about is worth

singing about.

Absolutely.

Which is why we have

songs of praise, songs of love, songs

of sorrow.

Songs to the gods, who have

so many names.

Songs the shepherds sing, on the

lonely mountains, while the sheep

are honoring the grass, by eating it.

The dance-songs of the bees, to tell

where the flowers, suddenly, in the

morning light, have opened.

The great chorus, shouting at the [sky],

or to it, or pleading.

Or that greatest of love affairs, a violin

and a human body.

And a composer, maybe hundreds of years dead.

I think of Schubert, scribbling on a café

napkin.

Thank you, thank you.

And then Helene Cixous has this to say about beauty and music:

“Because difference constitutes music…

Sound is…the rubbing of notes between two drops of water,

The breath between the note and the silence, the sound of thought.

…To write is to note down the music of the world.”

So at this gateway to the New Year,

I wish you renewed appreciation of the Beauty in all that you do–

To “Let the beauty we love be what we do” (Rumi)–

And to welcome what greets us.

And in the words of Charles Dickens:

“Welcome everything! Welcome all alike what has been and

What never was, and what we hope may be, to your shelter,

To your places around the…fire, where what is sits open-hearted!”

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“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.”

– Henry David Thoreau

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The Road of Life

another year is coming to an end.
I can feel her tug at my calendar;
I can sense her insistent movement.
I can hear her call to cross over.

Outside my window the trees are empty
and the air has the ripeness of snowfall.
I cast an inward glance to the past
and feel a deep desire to catch its glow.

Something in me wants to hold on,
to gather all the good things close to me.
A part of me that years for security
keeps encouraging me to grasp it all.

Then a tiny thimble-full of light
moves its way through my insecurity;
it weaves a thread of courage,
sending sparks into the dark.
Up and up it rises through my spirit
until it meets my controlling grip.

The Firefly flickers of God’s grace
are enough to embrace the unknown.
A surge of powerful surrender
takes over all my looking back,
and ever so gently and hopefully
I risk the road of another new year.

Joyce Rupp, May I Have This Dance?