Popular Wisdom

Popular Wisdom

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

January 6, 2023

Popular Wisdom

Marilyn Pagán-Banks

When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. – Matthew 2:10-11 (NRSV)

Dare I bring up what happened two years ago? Of course! I don’t believe anyone will ever think of Epiphany and not remember the shocking and violent event that took place on the Nation’s Capital on January 6, 2021.

I hope we remember not simply to “stay stuck in our politics” or “hold on to trauma,” but to observe, reflect and learn. To do better and to be different. To expect and accept accountability. To continue healing, growing, and building. So that we can do the work of ending hate and building the beloved community.

This is why we repeat the biblical stories: so we can recall, remember, and recommit ourselves as followers of Christ. So we can learn from the lived experience, popular wisdom and even human horrors found in these stories, and perhaps try to locate ourselves in them as we seek direction from yesterday’s harms and for today’s challenges.

God wants us to live, heal, have joy, and be love—and will stop at nothing to make sure we experience it. The entire universe is conspiring on our behalf! Are we paying attention to the signs? Are we open to God’s disruptive Spirit calling us to new possibilities? Are we ready to let go of our fear and privilege? To own our place and collective power? To listen to our dreams and allow the universe to guide us? To pay homage to the love and gifts among us? Within us?


Thank you, Creator, for wisdom from unexpected places. We are grateful for the stars that guide the night, dreams that inspire and protect us, and your son that leads us in love and power. Amen and selah.



Marilyn Pagán-Banks (she/her/ella) is a queer womanist freedom fighter gratefully (though not always gracefully) serving as executive director of A Just Harvest, Senior Pastor at San Lucas UCC, and adjunct professor at McCormick Theological Seminary. She is a joyful contributor to The Words of Her Mouth.


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