Epiphany Prayer In Response to Civil Unrest

Today is Epiphany in the church calendar, a day we celebrate the wise ones coming to see the new Lord, a star in the sky so bright it guided them from the east, going ahead of them along the way. These wise ones found at the end of their journey with the star a baby in his mother’s arms. They found joy. And then dreams saved the baby. The wise ones did not return to tell the king where the baby was because of a dream. The baby’s parents learned that the king planned to find and destroy the child and escaped because of a dream. (Matthew 2)

Today is meant to be a day of light and joy and hope.

Instead we see shadows, fear, and violence against the democracy we call home.

Epiphany also means a moment of sudden revelation or insight. And I hope that in the midst of all this, epiphanies can abound. Saying that, I don’t know yet what this day has revealed to me, because to be completely honest, I wasn’t surprised by today’s news.

I wish I was. I really do.

But the division in our country has been carved so deep for so long by leaders, by the media silos we find ourselves in, by our own human nature to create these silos, that it seems we live in our own worlds of truth. This rift in our love and care for one another as neighbors has been getting vaster and vaster. So much so that large numbers of people can believe their own truth so deeply, they bring violence and insurrection to a nation founded on democracy and freedom for all.

I’m still processing the news from today, and listening for what actions I can do to love and care for others and how I best need to speak out and continue to denounce the evils of this world.

But for tonight, for Epiphany, all I can do is pray. Listening for God in the silence, and lifting up the words from my heart to share with you:

God of comfort and peace, shine the light of your guiding star over all of your creation. Be alongside each of us as we seek to understand and to move forward in your world. Guide us towards light and love, giving us the courage to speak out and to work towards your kin-dom here on earth with peace and hope. Give us dreams not of warning, but of guidance and love, so all can receive epiphany moments towards light, towards joy, and towards hope. Amen.