Blogroll #1 – The Painted PrayerBook

“I’m dreaming of a white Epiphany…”

-facebook update from my mother

“I just had an epiphany. Get it?  Epiphany… heh heh.”

-even worse facebook update from a friend

Merry Epiphany!  (Or “Merry Women’s Christmas,” if you’re in Ireland!) 

<DORK ALERT> Epiphany is an older celebration of the incarnation (God-becoming-flesh) than Christmas is [originally it was all one celebration].  And as to the date?  According to White, the Romans believed that true heroes were both conceived and died on the same date.  Since it was speculated that Jesus died on April 6th—and Jesus is obviously the king of kings & lord of lords (thanks, Handel… err… John!)—this was also considered the date of his conception.  Epiphany occurs exactly nine months later. </DORK ALERT>

The Painted Prayerbook has a stunning reflection on Epiphany, so I decided to share it with you by starting a blog series in which I slowly refer you to my favorite blogs.  I am creatively titling it—wait for it!—“Blogroll Series.”* 

The artist behind The Painted Prayerbook is Jan Richardson, a United Methodist minister and artist who creates weekly written and artistic reflections on the lectionary.  Her art and her words both stop me in my tracks and send me puzzling over the texts with new eyes.  (Don’t worry if you don’t follow the lectionary— her archives are still easy to navigate).  I return to the same meditations again and again as I reflect on her images and the Scripture that inspires them. 

She is a Candler grad, which multiplies her theological insight, eye for beauty, and general awesomeness.  And in the course of digging a bit deeper on her site today, I discovered that she is part of a United Methodist Benedictine community.  It is hard to imagine four more wonderful words (“UMC + Benedictine”) —except perhaps “Snow Day  Billy Joel  State Champs  Holl’s Chocolate Covered Strawberries.”  I am definitely going to look into this more

Although I am sorely tempted, I am not copying any of the Painted Prayerbook images here, since the ministry depends on subscribers to to pay for their downloads.  I’m just a penniless lurker who lusts after her collages and is inspired by her insight!

To experience her work for yourself, please visit

*I have no ambitions to finish this blogroll quickly, but I like this format because I can give a little bit of context to each of my favorite bloggers.

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