January 2010 - Vol. 36
Journey by Starlight

Poem for the Feast of Epiphany 
by Jeanne Kun 

A star rises in the silence of the night
and shatters the deep darkness of my heart's
loneliness and longing.

A star breaks away from the lowly horizon
and climbs into the heights
where its brightness sings forth in glory 
and in hope.

A star's shining song fills the dawn
and wakes my dull and sleeping spirit
and my blind eyes
with new light.

Set out upon the way, my soul, set out upon 
the way.
A Savior has been born for you.
Make haste and go and find him.

The journeying is long.
The way lies through wasted desert land,
yet grace is in the very seeking.
With each step the star's light
burns deeper into my heart
and fills me with its searing brightness
till all of me is aglow with its fire.

With each step my burdens and my poor, 
shoddy riches
are laid down by the wayside
as I press on toward the new life awaiting me
and approach with heart and hands
open wide to its embrace.

Yes, grace lies upon the edges of this long journey, and time to prepare the heart.

The star leads onward to the Truth,
clothed not in the guise of kingly might 
and splendor
but in the frail, naked flesh of a newborn babe
wrapped in swaddling bands and lying in a manger
where God shares our poverty and weakness,
made like us in all but sin.

Look deeper as the star's light shines upon this Truth and dispels the gloomy darkness.

Sink down and kneel.
Bow low before his presence there upon the hay.

Lay down your crown, O soul, alongside the 
wise men's there.
Lay down your pomp and power,
your privileges and pride and presumptions,
your own rights and righteousness.

Offer there your treasures at the manger:
Desire and dream purified to finest gold,
hopes and prayers raised and sacrificed
as fragrant frankincense,
griefs and pains and disappointments anointed
and laid to rest with myrrh's balm.

Let the Child take these poor treasures in hand
to make of them his playthings,
there to see the pleasure he takes in them,
there to await what he will make of them for you,
Far better than your own doing.

And having offered my heart's gifts
and done him homage in silent adoration,
now I return to my own land.
But the star's light is my companion
and burns steadily within,
warming my stony coldness,
enlightening my vision,
and guiding my steps along the pilgrim's way
till I meet this Child again,
then throned and robed in full majesty and royal splendor at his Father's side.

Copyright (c) 2006 by Jeanne Kun
Used with permission of author.

Jeanne Kun is president of Bethany Association and a senior womens' leader in the Word of Life Community, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. 

Your Light Has Come 

Journey of the Wise Men, Matthew 2:1-2,9-12

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying,  "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him. ...and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they  offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Prophecy of Isaiah, Chapter 60

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples;  but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to you;  your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be carried in the arms. Then you shall see and be radiant, your heart shall thrill and rejoice;  because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Mid'ian and Ephah;  all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you, the rams of Nebai'oth shall minister to you;  they shall come up with acceptance on my altar, and I will glorify my glorious house. 

...Your gates shall be open continually; day and night they shall not be shut;  that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, with their kings led in procession. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish;  those nations shall be utterly laid waste. The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the plane, and the pine, to beautify the place of my sanctuary;  and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons of those who oppressed you shall come bending low to you;  and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet;  they shall call you the City of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. 

...Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders;  you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon  give light to you by night;  but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. 

Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself;  for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. 
Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land for ever, the shoot of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified. The least one shall become a clan, and the smallest one a mighty nation;  I am the LORD;  in its time I will hasten it. 

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