Epiphany: For Those Who Have Far to Travel

TheWiseOnesImage: The Wise Ones © Jan Richardson

Reading from the Gospels for Epiphany: Matthew 2.1-12

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born
in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East
came to Jerusalem.

—Matthew 2.1

For Those Who Have Far to Travel
A Blessing for Epiphany

If you could see
the journey whole,
you might never
undertake it,
might never dare
the first step
that propels you
from the place
you have known
toward the place
you know not.

Call it
one of the mercies
of the road:
that we see it
only by stages
as it opens
before us,
as it comes into
our keeping,
step by
single step.

There is nothing
for it
but to go,
and by our going
take the vows
the pilgrim takes:

to be faithful to
the next step;
to rely on more
than the map;
to heed the signposts
of intuition and dream;
to follow the star
that only you
will recognize;

to keep an open eye
for the wonders that
attend the path;
to press on
beyond distractions,
beyond fatigue,
beyond what would
tempt you
from the way.

There are vows
that only you
will know:
the secret promises
for your particular path
and the new ones
you will need to make
when the road
is revealed
by turns
you could not
have foreseen.

Keep them, break them,
make them again;
each promise becomes
part of the path,
each choice creates
the road
that will take you
to the place
where at last
you will kneel

to offer the gift
most needed—
the gift that only you
can give—
before turning to go
home by
another way.

—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace

I have a gift for you! My new retreat for Women’s Christmas (which some folks in Ireland and beyond celebrate on Epiphany/January 6) is hot off the press. It’s a retreat that you can download at no cost and use anytime you wish throughout the year. For a link to the retreat and more about Women’s Christmas, click the Wise Women image or the title below:

Wise Women Also Came
Women’s Christmas 2016: Home By Another Way

I would love for you to pass along the gift by sharing the link with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, or any other way you’re connected.

New from Jan Richardson
CIRCLE OF GRACE: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

Circle of GraceWithin the struggle, joy, pain, and delight that attend our life, there is an invisible circle of grace that enfolds and encompasses us in every moment. Blessings help us to perceive this circle of grace, to find our place of belonging within it, and to receive the strength the circle holds for us. from the Introduction

Beginning in Advent and moving through the sacred seasons of the Christian year, Circle of Grace offers Jan’s distinctive and poetic blessings that illuminate the treasures each season offers to us. A beautiful gift for the new year. Available in print and ebook.

Order the book


Using Jan’s artwork…
To use the image “The Wise Ones,” please visit this page at janrichardsonimages.com. Your use of janrichardsonimages.com helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Advent special! During this season, subscribe to Jan Richardson Images and receive unlimited digital downloads for only $125 per year (regularly $165). Click Subscribe to sign up. (Extended through Epiphany!)

Using Jan’s words…
For worship services and related settings, you are welcome to use Jan’s blessings or other words from this blog without requesting permission. All that’s needed is to acknowledge the source. Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com.” For other uses, visit Copyright Permissions.

17 Responses to “Epiphany: For Those Who Have Far to Travel”

  1. David Stauffer Says:

    Thank you Jan. The image and poem blessed me tonight.

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      David, thanks so much! It’s great to hear from you. I am sending many blessings to you and yours on this Epiphany Day!

  2. Barbara Rimes Says:

    So beautiful (Those That Have Far To Travel!!)
    And how I love the book. Read quickly and now slowly for the second time. It is a treasure!
    Barbara Rimes

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Barbara, thank you! What a treat to hear from you. I love that you’ve read the new book quickly and now slowly! Many blessings to you on this Epiphany Day and throughout the coming year.

  3. Rhonda Hardin Says:

    Jan, this has been a hard 2 weeks. I ran into friend who lost her husband about 6 months before I lost Jay. And she said, in so many ways this year has been the hardest. I knew and felt exactly what she meant. This blessing of yours comes at exactly the right time on my journey. Thanks!

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Rhonda, thank you. I’m so sorry these weeks have been so hard. You have been on my heart and in my prayers. I am grateful for you and am sending many, many blessings to you for this Epiphany Day and all the days to come! Deep peace to you, friend. May you receive everything you need on this path.

  4. Lynda Says:

    Jan, I downloaded Circle of Grace to my Kindle and then decided to purchase two copies for friends for Christmas. They are so very thrilled to have your book. Thanks so much for sharing your gift with us! Blessings and prayers for much peace and joy and love in 2016.

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Lynda, how lovely! Thank you so much for the gift of your words and for sharing Circle of Grace with your friends! Sending you blessings on this Epiphany Day and praying that this year holds many treasures for you.

  5. Diane Says:

    Thank you. Totally love it and this is really where I am at the moment – a journey into the unknown (moving 250 miles to an area where we know no one because we feel God wants us there!)
    I also love the breaking promises and having another go. That is so encouraging XX

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Thank you, Diane! I loved receiving your words and becoming acquainted with your blog! Sending you many blessings as you make a new home in this unknown place. May there be wondrous treasures waiting to be found!

  6. Lyndie Says:

    Jan, in these four months since my husband died, I write, and write, and write; it is a healing. More importantly, your words are a healing for all who grieve, and balance the joy.

    This post, is my continuing prayer, blessing and meditation for the new year.

    Until we meet again, Lyndie

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Lyndie, thank you for the gift of your words. I am so sorry about your husband’s death. I am glad that you are writing, and writing, and writing, and finding healing there. Words continue to be such a powerful gift and solace for me on this path–writing them, and receiving the words that find me. Thank you for sending your words my way!

      So many blessings to you this Epiphany Day and all the days to come.

  7. Helen Martin Says:

    So insightful and beautiful a Blessing for Epiphany.
    ‘Only you …..’ and that’s the crux of it.

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Thank you dear Helen! It’s such a gift to hear from you and to receive your words. I’m sending many blessings your way on this Epiphany Day, and praying this year holds many treasures and wonders for you! Much gratitude to you.

  8. Anne Kern Says:

    what beauty painted in your words. Images emerge in my mind, and I will return to read and hold your poem in my heart and in my soul until the image feels clearer and I let it go on canvas. We journey down a path, stepping out with a faith barely tapped into , because it is easier to remain in routine, we journey back by a different path, with new insight. may deep peace be your soul’s compagnion this day

  9. Pamela J. Glasser Says:

    Beautiful inspirational poem !

  10. Linda Doyle English Says:

    Jan today we had our most beautiful retreat at our Lady of Mt Carmel thanks to your creation of the Women’s Christmas Retreat for 2017. We had to pick and choose the content to fit into the 3 1/2 hour format, but it was the richest of blessings we could imagine. I think there must have been 45 women in attendance and we all hung on every word and the sharing was deep and very meaningful. Thank you dear sister of our hearts and souls. You inspired us to write our gifts on lovely paper and folded them in gold fabric pouches. We then processed up to the church and placeed our Women’s giftt in the crib of the infant Jesus….. we went home by another way…..

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