There is no reversing this road. The path that bore you here goes in one direction only, every step drawing you down a way by which you will not return.
You thought arrival was everything, that your entire journey ended with kneeling in the place you had spent all to find.
When you laid down your gift, release came with such ease, your treasure tumbling from your hands in awe and benediction.
Now the knowledge of your leaving comes like a stone laid over your heart, the familiar path closed and not even the solace of a star to guide your way.
You will set out in fear. You will set out in dream. But you will set out. By that other road that lies in shadow and in dark. We cannot show you what route will take you home; that way is yours and will be found in the walking.
But we tell you, you will wonder at how the light you thought you had left behind goes with you, spilling from your empty hands, shimmering beneath your homeward feet, illuminating the road with every step you take.
By Jan Richardson
This blessing inspired by part of the gospel reading (Matthew 2:1-12) for Epiphany (January 6) has so many things that stick out to me as we turn toward the beginning of a new calendar year. After the year that we’ve had, one that turned out like none of us could have expected, we may be wishing we could reverse the road that got us here or maybe even erase it completely. We don’t yet know all that the coming year will hold for us. We might have some fear or trepidation of what is to come. We might be dreaming of better days ahead. Yet we are called to continue walking the road laid out before us, even though we cannot see the ending. We are called as followers of Christ to walk that road bearing love and grace in Christ-like ways. As we continue on our way, Christ goes with us. Christ lights the way, lights the shadows in our path, and carries us forward when we feel we cannot take another step.
My prayer for us all as we enter this new year is that just as the Magi followed the star to guide them to the young Christ, we keep setting our sights on Christ as our guide, for how to love, how to serve, how to live.
Pastor Megan Graves, January 2021