Years ago, my family started a tradition of “star words” on Epiphany. The idea is simple, but its meaning and impact can be profound. As part of our Epiphany celebration, we remember the star the magi saw and followed. The magi trusted the star would guide them on a Spirit-filled journey to the Christ child. In this Epiphany season and throughout this next year, we would like to invite you on a Spirit-filled journey to draw you closer to the Divine guided by your star word. You could think of your star word as an intention, an invitation or even a challenge.
This year in the Epiphany worship service that the Illinois South, Indiana Kentucky, and Heartland Conferences created together, we incorporated the ritual of drawing “star words.” Just yesterday at the beginning of the Conference Council meeting of the year, Council members drew “star words” which will challenge, inspire, and nudge them in the ways they lead and work on your behalf in our Conference. It was fascinating and inspiring how they used these words to direct their attention to the matters about which we discussed, deliberated on, and made decisions.
If you have not yet drawn your own word for the year, I encourage you to do so tomorrow (Wednesday, January 6) as a way to observe and celebrate Epiphany.
There are several ways to “find” your word. You could print out words and choose which word draws your attention or write numbers on the back of the words and choose your favorite number. Or maybe pray about a word and see what comes to mind first. Now there are even word generators online which randomly select the word for you. There really is no wrong way to do it.
Once you have chosen Your star word. Place it somewhere you will see it every day. Pray about the word. Think about what it might mean for you. Look for the ways Your word expands in meaning for you throughout the new year.
And may your word lead you, like the star led the Magi, to a closer understanding and experience of the presence of the Divine in your life. In the year ahead, may your thoughts, actions, and decisions be led by faith, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Blessings, Rev. Shana Johnson, ISC Conference Minister
Here's a list of start words to help you choose.