Epiphany Thoughts

  • Posted on: 19 January 2018
  • By: Gordon

I’ve benefited from a further reading of T.S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Journey of the Magi’, and invite you to do similarly. For copyright reasons we are not able to publish the whole poem, but you can find it at The Poetry Archive.

A few thoughts spring to mind from each of Eliot’s three stanzas:

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter

The struggle of the Magi in their journey, and the struggle we endure in our search for Jesus,  as we also find ourselves living with so much stuff that is spiritually diluting, diverting, or distracting.

Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wineskins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

The determination of the Magi to overcome obstacles, and our need to be persistent despite there being times when there is ‘no information’, and just empty wineskins.

We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

The agony and unease of the Magi in the ‘old dispensation’, and our experience of being ‘in the world yet not of it’ as we taste the first fruits of all that the creation is waiting for.