Epiphany 4: The Greatest of These

Image: The Greatest of These © Jan L. Richardson

Reading from the Epistles, Epiphany 4, Year C: 1 Corinthians 13.1-13

Now I know only in part; then I will know fully,
even as I have been fully known.
And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three;
and the greatest of these is love.

—1 Corinthians 13.12b-13

Blessing that Opens Its Heart to You

You have seen
the impostors
trying to masquerade
as this blessing,
how they cloak themselves
with words
that look so much
like what you longed for
while beneath
they are hollow.

This blessing
has come to tell you
do not be discouraged
do not be dismayed
do not berate yourself
for where you have been
for the wisdom that comes
along what seems
a foolish road.

You will know this blessing
by how it opens its heart
to you.
You will know this blessing
by how it turns its face
toward you.
You will know this blessing
by how it approaches you
arm in arm with faith
and hope.

You will know this blessing
not by the ease it offers you
but by what it asks of you:
patience and kindness
forbearance and belief
hope and endurance
and more

not because this is what
you owe
but because this is what
this blessing stirs in you,
what it provides for you,
what it pours into your hands
that you suddenly
find open

like your heart
that unfolds itself
in welcome,
finally knowing
and fully known.

Are you hungry for an experience that draws you into Lent without feeling like it’s just one more thing to add to your schedule? Gary and I would love for you to join us for this online retreat that will intertwine reflection, art, music, and community. A great way to travel toward Easter in contemplation and conversation, from anywhere you are. Group discounts available! Begins February 13. For info and registration, click this icon:

And for a reflection on the Gospel reading for Epiphany 4, click the image or title below:

Epiphany 4: Get Real

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