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.


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1

“For we observed his star at its rising…” – Matthew 2:2

Star-Creator discovered beneath a star,
Planet-Former found over the curve of Earth,
Human-Shaper nurtured in the womb of Mary,
All-Embracer wrapped in mother’s tears:

Shine upon us.

Monarch-Ruler fleeing from a king,
Word-Incarnate lacking human speech,
Life-Light needing one to testify,
All-Knowing yet unknown:

Shine upon us.

Spirit-Eternal in human flesh,
Glory-Unbounded with a weary face,
Life-Everlasting corpse upon a cross,
Love-Transcendent unrecognized in a garden:

Shine upon us.

A poem/prayer based on John 1:1-18, the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel Reading for Year C, Second Sunday after Christmas, and Matthew 2:1-12, the RCL Gospel Reading for Epiphany.

Photo by Eric Anderson.