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  • Jonathan C. Roach

Associate Conference Minister Shares Epiphany Liturgical Poem

"Rise and Listen to an Epiphany Sermon"

a blue bird rests on a thin branch, surrounded by green plants
Photo by Jonathan C. Roach

St. Francis preached to the birds; But I say to you: go and let the birds preach to you! Hear their testimony Listen to their witness of thanksgiving Be present as their homilies open the holy of holies. Take heed; they will sing whether you are there or not Their sermons preceded all human life And their message will continue long after even the memory of us is gone. Recognize them as siblings, as elders Know that their notes extend above and below your hearing range You are not their audience; only a bystander, be humbled to be allowed to listen. Let their sermons surround you: body, mind, and soul Taste them on your tongue, sweeter than honey Eat their message as Ezekiel ate the scroll Let it become part of you and you part of it Let their echo resonate within your being Be the wonder of their message Hear each warble, note, chirp as the divine spark. Rise now and go Enter the deep and heavy woods before the sun Prepare yourself; you are in the presence of the sacred As their sermons surround you: Cry as you haven't cried from the depths of your being Laugh, a full body laugh, as only a child would Pour yourself out; entirely out Raise your face to the rising sun Drop to your knees or stand bare footed, this is holy Awe, terror, reverence, wonder, guilt, surrender, blessing. Go and let the birds preach to you…an Epiphany sermon And know God! Jonathan Roach Associate Conference Minister


Originally published in the Coconut Wireless, January 5, 2022.

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