Epiphany 3: To Proclaim Release


Image: To Proclaim Release © Jan L. Richardson

Reading from the Gospels, Epiphany 3, Year C: Luke 4.14-21

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because God has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
God has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,

to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

—Luke 4.18-19

A Prophet’s Blessing

This blessing
finds its way
behind the bars.
This blessing
works its way
beneath the chains.
This blessing
knows its way
through a broken heart.
This blessing
makes a way
where there is none.

Where there is
no light,
this blessing.
Where there is
no hope,
this blessing.
Where there is
no peace,
this blessing.
Where there is
nothing left,
this blessing.

In the presence
of hate.
In the absence
of love.
In the torment
of pain.
In the grip
of fear.

To the one
in need.
To the one
in the cell.
To the one
in the dark.
To the one
in despair.

Let this blessing come
as bread.
Let this blessing come
as release.
Let this blessing come
as sight.
Let this blessing come
as freedom.

Let this blessing come.

P.S. I’m delighted to share the news that my book In Wisdom’s Path has recently come out in a beautiful hardcover version! With color artwork throughout, In Wisdom’s Path is a companion through the seasons of the sacred year. For info and to order, click the cover below. (This will take you to the Books page at janrichardson.com.) Inscribed copies available by request!

And for a previous reflection on this passage, click the image or title below:


Epiphany 3: Fulfilled in Your Hearing

[To use the image “To Proclaim Release,” please visit this page at janrichardsonimages.com. Your use of janrichardsonimages.com helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Thank you!]

8 Responses to “Epiphany 3: To Proclaim Release”

  1. Maureen Says:

    Beautifully written poem-blessing, Jan.

  2. Kellyann Says:

    This may be my favorite blessing ever.

  3. Ellen H. Says:

    So hopeful!

  4. Stella Llerin Says:

    Thanks Jan… you are weaving the spirit of blessings.
    Thank you for being a blessing … blessing us all…

  5. Lisbeth Says:

    I was very moved by ‘The Prophet’s Blessing’. Can I find it in your book, ‘In Wisdom’s Path’?
    I’m grateful for the reminder of hope!

  6. Dave Buerstetta Says:

    Really loved ‘A Prophet’s Blessing.’ I shared it in my sermon that week. I told our congregation I usually don’t pay lots of attention to poetry because I’m usually too dense to get it, but this was too beautiful not to share. Our people loved it, naturally.

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