Epiphany 2022

“When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him…” – Matthew 2:3

One year since some deluded,
some deluding, some misinformed,
some misanthropic stormed
the halls of Congress, to retain
a would-be Herod on his throne,

Revealing in an afternoon of rage
the violence they credited to others,
the hollowness of civic virtues
claimed, the eagerness to claim
the lie as truth, to curse the truth.

The rising of tide of wrath withdrew
as evening – came in face of force –
so legislators came once more to count
the votes, and as they did, the injured
sought relief, the grieving comfort.

King Herod missed his mark. The child
he sought escaped, though wailing rose
in Ramah where Rachel wept uncomforted.
His rising tide of wrath withdrew
though unfulfilled, without success.

Would Herod be assured to know his work
was finished near Jerusalem’s height
by Pontius Pilate after thirty years
had passed? Did his corpse-teeth grin
to hear the soft moan, “It is finished”?

Is our Epiphany to be
that Herods rise, and Pilates rise,
as tides of poison circling the globe?
Oh, might see once more the One beset
by violence, who died, indeed – and rose.

A poem/prayer based on Matthew 2:1-12, the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel Reading for Year C, Epiphany of the Lord.

Photo by Eric Anderson.

2 thoughts on “Epiphany 2022

  1. A Heartbreaker, this poem. Isn’t it lovely to be able to write for the Epiphany Sunday which is shared with congregations and for Epiphany day in starker terms.

    • Yes it is, and no, it isn’t – for me, anyway. I always feel some emptiness when I leave out the end of the magi story. The star reflected on gold, yes, but also on blood and tears. I don’t feel right when I don’t tell that part of the story.

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