The festival of Epiphany celebrates the coming of the three wise men, making their long journeys, following the star, offering their gifts to the newborn child. On a dishcloth on the refrigerator in our compact kitchen here at the church, there are these words embroidered:
Three wise women
asked for directions
arrived on time
helped deliver the baby
cleaned the stable
made a casserole
and there would be peace on earth.
It is a Morningstar of the time in which we live, a new guiding light, the movement of women in societies around the earth, the rise of the feminine and the changes that rise is laboring and bringing to birth in the whole consciousness of our humanity and in human culture. That The Christian Community has had from its birth women priests is a modest, but real revelation of that movement. Speaking as a priest, the thought of an all-male priesthood, for me, is unthinkable. The events Sat. Jan. 21, here in this city and around this country, and the world testify to this forming-transforming Force moving now like a deep, strong current in the stream of time.
Walt Whitman, in “Democratic Vistas,” noted that we say and write the word “democracy” often and easily, but it is a word whose history has yet to be written for it is still to be enacted. This forming, transforming force of the feminine in our humanity may be a primary creating-power in enacting and writing a truly new and vital chapter in this story.
But the words embroidered on the dishcloth point to something more: they are an Epiphany of the truth now to be revealed–the truth that there are many, many gifts, many, many acts and activities, many, many diverse abilities and skills that can be offered to the birth of Christ in our humanity, to the tending of Christ, living and growing in our humanity and our societies. For the Christ-Star of Grace has come down to earth! His Spirit, His Light, His Life is to be born, is to be, live, and grow in all of us, in each of us, in many, many, many concrete, unique ways.
And however, wherever, whenever human beings, women and men, boys and girls, people of all kinds, all shapes and sizes, offer their gifts, develop, practice, offer their energy and abilities, tending this Christ birth, to Christ living and growing in us and between us, however, wherever, whenever that happens, THERE IS EPIPHANY, there the Morningstar of Grace shines brightly in us and through us, there the Way of Healing Salvation moves on into the Christ-future of the living earth and humankind.
by Richard Dancey