Epiphany and New Beginnings

This season of Epiphany reminds us to be open to new revelations. Epiphany, the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Magi, has come to mean “any revelation of divine being.” Revelations of the Divine continue to happen when our minds and souls are open. Our world stands in great need of Epiphany and the new beginnings that come from these new revelations.

We are seeing signs of healing, hope, and new beginnings even in the midst of a pandemic, political chaos and divisions, racism, sexism, and other injustices. Fair Fight, founded by Stacey Abrams, Black Voters Matter Fund, co-founded by LaTosha Brown, and other activist organizations started by Black women greatly increased voter registration and turnout, leading to new beginnings in our country.

Stacey Abrams and these other Black women follow the Divine Midwife in bringing new life to birth. Midwife is one of the female divine names and images that people are discovering in biblical revelation. Our country and our world urgently need the healing the Female Divine brings.

One of the many female divine names and images in the Bible is that of Midwife. “Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother’s breast. On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me, you have been my God” (Psalm 22:9-10). In this psalm, the poet expresses feelings of being forsaken and persecuted, and finds reassurance in this picture of God’s tender care beginning at birth. Another image of the Divine Midwife comes in Isaiah 66:9: “Shall I open the womb and not deliver? says God; shall I, the one who delivers, shut the womb?”

This song invites us to join with the Divine Midwife in bringing healing and new life to birth within ourselves and throughout the world.

Midwife Divine now calls us forth from our safest place,
beckoning always forward out into unknown space.
She sings a birthing song
to calm our fears and help us
through days so hard and long.

Midwife Divine inspires us through holy darkness deep,
moving through realms of mystery to wake all dreams that sleep.
Her loving plan unfolds
as tenderly She guides us
through pathways new and bold.

O may we join Her labor to bring new life to birth;
crowned in Her ancient splendor, we claim our sacred worth.
Our Midwife shows the way
to worlds of love and beauty,
more than our words can say.

Words  © Jann Aldredge-Clanton
from Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians (Eakin Press, 2006)

Performed by: Chancel Choir of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, Raleigh, North Carolina. Conductor Rev. Larry E. Schultz

Visual Artists:

Stacy Boorn: “Her-Galaxy” © Stacy Boorn. Used with permission.

Mary Plaster: “Sophia, Divine Wisdom” © 2003 Mary Plaster. Used with permission.

Alice Heimsoth: photo of drummers and dancers, Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran, San Francisco
© Alice Heimsoth. Used with permission.

David Clanton: photo of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church Choir, Orchestra, & Congregation © David M. Clanton. Used with permission. 

Recorded by: Ward Productions, Pinehurst, North Carolina

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