Song of the Magi by Anaïs Mitchell
be dismayed by your friendship
and dethroned by your love;
On Foot I Wandered Through the Solar Systems
by Edith Södergran
translated by Malena Mörling and Jonas Ellerström
On foot I wandered through the solar systems,
before I found the first thread of my red dress.
Already I have a sense of myself.
Somewhere in space my heart hangs,
emitting sparks, shaking the air,
to other immeasurable hearts.
by Brenda Shaughnessy
If only you’d been a better mother.
How could I have been a better mother?
I would have needed a better self,
and that is a gift I never received.
So you’re saying it’s someone else’s fault?
The gift of having had a better mother myself,
my own mother having had a better mother herself.
The gift that keeps on not being given.
Who was supposed to give it?
How am I supposed to know?
Well, how am I supposed to live?
I suppose you must live as if you had been
given better to live with. Comb your hair, for instance.
I cut off my hair, to sell for the money
to buy you what you wanted.
I wanted nothing but your happiness.
I can’t give you that!
What would Jesus do?
He had a weird mother too . . .
Use the myrrh, the frankincense, as if
it were given unconditionally, your birthright.
It’s a riddle.
All gifts are a riddle, all lives are
in the middle of mother-lives.
But it’s always winter in this world.
There is no end to ending.
The season of giving, the season
when the bears are never cold,
because they are sleeping.
The bears are never cold, Mama,
but I am one cold, cold bear.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the territory of Judea during the rule of King Herod, magi came from the east to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn ruler of the Jewish people? We’ve seen the star in the east, and we’ve come to honour the child.”
When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, and everyone in Jerusalem was troubled with him. He gathered all the chief priests and the legal experts and asked them where the Christ was to be born. They said, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what the prophet wrote:
You, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
by no means are you least among the rulers of Judah,
because from you will come one who governs,
who will shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod secretly called for the magi and found out from them the time when the star had first appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you’ve found them, report to me so that I too may go and honour them.” When they heard the king, they went; and look, the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. They entered the house and saw the child with Mary his mother. Falling to their knees, they honored him. Then they opened their treasure chests and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Because they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route.
The Magi by Peter, Paul & Mary
by St Benedict, adapted
O gracious and holy God,
Give us wisdom to perceive you,
intelligence to understand you,
diligence to seek you,
patience to wait for you,
eyes to see you,
a heart to meditate on you,
and a life to proclaim you,
through the power of the Spirit.
The Lord’s Prayer
God, heart of the world:
revealed through every aspect of creation:
understood through our awareness.
May we honour the holiness of creation and act accordingly
so that your love is reflected in the way we live.
May we always be thankful for the food we eat
and the friends we have.
May we forgive those who transgress against us
and be forgiven for our own.
In the freedom of love may we live as your heartbeat
and not be compromised by hesitation.
Through our freedom,
may your justice be seen and heard and experienced
forever and ever. Amen.
The Gift of the Magi by Joni Mitchell
Bless us, Lord, this day with vision.
May this place, wherever we are,
be a sacred place,
a telling place,
where heaven and earth meet.
And may the blessing of God – the Abba, the Messiah, and the Paraclete,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.