a prayer-poem for the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 2018

(Based on Matthew 2.1-12)


I marvel at the magi, in their day and time,
wise men, masters of astrology and philosophy,
esteemed in their Eastern principalities.
What would summon them, beyond reason’s rhyme,
to journey far,
following a star?
Lest, at the calling of an ancient prophecy,
they believed they would behold divinity
and their own destiny.

King Herod meets with magi, James Tissot (1836-1902)

King Herod,
the Roman-placed puppet-despot,
terrified at the prospect of one born the king of Jewry,
invited the magi, arriving in the City of David,
(yet his truest secret,
his evilest intent
was the death of the Bethlehem baby)
to his private chambers opulent
for purposes of inquiry
to learn of the time of the star ascendant.

Then onward the magi, journeying,
the star, following,
at Bethlehem arriving,
the heavenly light resting
o’er the place where the Child was lying…

Adoration of the Magi, Matthias Stom (or Stomer) (1600-1650)

With joy o’erwhelming,
they, bearing
gifts, presenting:
gold for the king tru’ing,
frankincense for the priest, who would make and be sin’s offering,
myrrh to anoint for His death willing

Then warned in dream to return not to Herod
the magi traveled home by another road,
for, their Bethlehem-destination arrived,
their destiny was realized,
fore’er attained,
for they, beholding glory truest, e’ermore were changed.

my hands, 2-27-17

May I,
as the magi,
e’er give as gift my life
to the Gift Who is my life.




King Herod meets with the magi, James Tissot (1836-1902)

The Adoration of the Magi, Matthias Stom (1600-1630)


2 thoughts on “a prayer-poem for the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 2018

  1. Paul, I’ve always loved your poems. This one is special. We all love gifts, giving and receiving, but how many of us would give the gift of ourselves?? Especially to the ONE who was given to us as a gift. Thanks for this awesome image and the thoughts it has provoked in me.
    Much love!


    1. Thank you, Loretta. This prayer-poem came as a stroke of inspiration (and, as always, I pray it was/is the Spirit Who provided that inspiration, indeed, in-spiriting!), for until the end, what I had written was a poetic riff on Matthew 2.1-12. And at the end, I wondered, pondered the meaning of what I had written. That is when the prayerful words came to me about offering my life as a gift to the Gift, Jesus. Love


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