Week 1 – Season of Letting Go

In Epiphany, we are brought to that choice point that is at the heart of all spiritual journeying. We must leave the familiar—with all the trappings that keep us feeling confident, secure, in control—for places that are unknown and require humility, letting go, and moving bravely in a new direction. – Ruth Haley Barton

To read this week:
“Epiphany: In celebration of the Journey”
by Ruth Haley Barton
from Transforming Center

The Epiphany story is a story of call and response. Every day God places before us opportunities to respond to God’s presence in our lives. The Magi saw a new star and couldn’t not respond. But following God may not always mean packing up our tents and moving to a foreign land. (Or it may.) Epiphany is about awareness and willingness. Do we see? Are we looking? Are we willing to follow where we believe God is leading us?

As you read, reflect

  • Barton points out that the Magi had to take action. When they saw the new star, they didn’t just say, “Isn’t that interesting?” They packed for the journey and set out. What tools do you suppose they took with them? If you were setting out on a new spiritual venture, what tools would you want to have with you?

  • Our response to a new urging from God may require us to leave the familiar, the comfort of what we know. The author says it will require “humility, letting go, and moving bravely in a new direction.” Why do you think she includes humility?

  • The Magi were working at their craft when they found the star. They were astrologers whose task it was to decipher the heavens. They were doing their day jobs. Where in your ordinary life do you most often see God? What might God be asking you to pay attention to just now?

  • Epiphany is also about revelation. The Magi show us that God is available for all people, not just the holy ones and the righteous ones, the ones who think they have all the answers, but everyone. Where might God be revealing something new to you? Where might you need to change your thinking or behavior to include God in every part of your life?

  • After meeting the Christ child, the Magi went home a different way, for they had been warned in a dream to avoid Herod. But an encounter with Christ always changes us, always invites us to “go home” a different way. When have you changed direction after sensing God’s call to you? How did it work out?

More resources for week 1 – Season of Letting Go

Use what you wish

The Light of Epiphany: Hope for the new year.
Our state of mind, our behavior, our lifestyle will never change the fact that Emmanuel is here with us, but our ability to see and understand his presence will greatly affect our journey: the level of peace and joy with which we travel.
by Jessica Wolstenholm, from Minno Life

Window 23
The wise men brought their gifts with no expectation of repayment, with no debt of gratitude attached. Gifts were freely given and received in response to love, not in anticipation of reciprocity.
by Diana Butler Bass, from The Cottage.

Feast of Epiphany podcast
Epiphany is an opportunity for “re-gifting.” Rather than clinging to the gifts with which God blesses us, we are to widen our circle of whom we think deserves them.
by Fr. Richard Rohr
from Center for Action and Contemplation.

Journey of the Magi
T. S. Eliot’s must-read Epiphany poem.
from Poetry Archive

back to all material for Following the Epiphany Light

Epiphany – Following the Light is an offering from The Wisdom Years, spiritual formation for the last third of life. To learn more www.wisdomyears.org.