An Epiphany Prayer


A Prayer of Invocation that begins with a poem by written by Madeleine L’Engle in 1973, entitled “The Risk of Birth.”

Lord God,

“The Risk of Birth” by Madeleine L’Engle

This is no time for a child to be born
With the earth betrayed by war and hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out and the sun burns late.

That was no time for a child to be born
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome
Honor and truth were trampled by scorn—
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.

When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn –
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.

O God, you have invited shepherds and kings – and us – to encounter the infant Jesus here, this morning: an Epiphany we are free to embrace, or deny.

But regardless, through it our own brokenness is uncovered and your love and plan to heal us, and all the world, are revealed. The miraculous and mundane are brought together, united through your grace.

And so we testify, through our time of worship together here this morning, and through the living witness of our lives, of the sincerity of heart and fullness of Joy that our encounter with you, and so also with ourselves, makes possible.

It is through the Christ Child that we have come to know and bear witness to the promise and hope that you have given to us and to all of your Creation.


Scripture Reference: Matthew 2:1-12 (The Voice Bible)

Given at Memorial Congregational Church (UCC) in Sudbury, Massachusetts, January 6, 2019.

Original material copyright (c) 2019, Allen Vander Meulen III.

Author: Allen

A would-be historian turned IT Professional who responded to the call to the Ministry, and is now focused on social justice and community service. He is the proud father of a daughter and son, and enjoys life with his wife near Boston. You can follow Pastor Allen on Facebook at

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