Deep midwinter, the dark center of the year,
Wake, O earth, awake,
Out of the hills a star appears,
Here lies the way for pilgrim kings,
Three magi on an ancient path,
Black hours begin their journeyings.
Their star has risen in our hearts,
Empty thrones, abandoning fears,
Out on the hills their journey starts,
In dazzling darkness God appears.
~Judith Bingham “Epiphany”
…the scent of frankincense
arrives on the wind,
and I long
to breathe deeply,
to divine its trail.
But I know their uses
and cannot bring myself
to breathe deeply enough
whether what comes
is the fragrant welcoming
or simply covers the stench of death.
coming toward me,
is it swaddling they carry
~Jan Richardson from Night Visions –searching the shadows of Advent and Christmas
Unclench your fists
Hold out your hands.
Let us hold…
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