This poem was written on the occasion of a pilgrimage to Bethlehem by His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, The moderator of the Free Churches, David Coffey, and The Armenian patriarch of Great Britain, Bishop Nathan Hovhannisian in Advent 2006.
Four wise men came from the west
To Bethlehem, a city sadly torn apart;
With iron walls and troops oppressed.
They spoke of ‘wrongs within the human heart’
I thought epiphany would come earlier this year
But years ago when from the east
Three such men had crossed the sand
They laid their tributes at Christ’s feet
But now our troops invade their shattered land
I thought epiphany might never come this year
And what does now the future hold
For me, for him, my Abrahamic brother
What meant the incense, myrrh and gold?
Can we not change, and learn to love each other?
I hope epiphany will come at last this year