I love Epiphany!
It’s a story of astrology and a meeting of people across cultural and religious divides. And no one is converted, except perhaps into a deeper and truer expression of what they were. The Divine is found in the stars and in the sacred space between the most unlikely of strangers. There is no easy moral of the story, just mystery that asks us over and over to BEHOLD!
So how might you enter into the mystery and meaning of this day?
Bless your home and chalk your doors! This lovely tradition is centuries old and a way of dedicating our homes and everything that takes place within them at the start of the new year. There are so many ways to do a house blessing...
This liturgy from the Northumbria Community, includes prayers for each room) but feel free to make it your own, perhaps carrying a candle through the house as a way of symbolically bringing the Light of God to your life at home.
Or use John O Donohue’s “Blessing for a New Home”.
Chalk above your front door like this: 20 + C + M + B + 23. The letters CMB stand for Christus mansionem benedicat: “May Christ bless the house.”
Bake! There are some wonderful recipes from many different cultures that are made particularly at Epiphany. The one I’m most familiar with is the Galette des Rois, eaten in Luxembourg and Belgium where I lived for eight years - a delicious layering of flaky pastry and almond cream.
Take a mini pilgrimage. The Magi travelled many miles to follow their desire. Plan a walk that you can take locally to a place of spiritual or personal significance. As you go, ponder your own desires and longings, and invite Spirit to meet you in that conversation as you walk. Consider crossing a cultural or religious border. How might you make yourself vulnerable to learn from those who are different from you, who are oppressed or marginalised, or who you have held yourself apart from in the past? What would it look like to do that in a way that lays down your own power? Jan Richardson each year releases a "Women's Christmas Retreat" for Epiphany (known in parts of Ireland as Women's Christmas). This years is not quite out as I write this but all the past years are available online and I highly recommend engaging with her work.
If you have children (your own or part of your life in another way), make a treasure hunt to find the Magi hidden around the house and help them journey to the Christ, or have them decorate stars made from paper or decorate biscuit-shaped stars. Light the candles at dinner, read the story together and find out what sparks their curiosity.
Listen to the Guided Meditation
I recorded this meditation for Epiphany as a way to reflect on how our own journeys are found in the journey of the Magi.
Structured like a lectio divina, with reflection questions to help you enter into each part of the Magi's story, it's just under fifteen minutes, and a beautiful way to enter into the story and the celebration!