Last Sunday, we celebrated Epiphany in worship; but if you have been counting down, you know that yesterday was the twelfth day of Christmas, and today, January 6th, is traditionally when we celebrate the Magi’s Journey and the incredible revelation of God’s self in Christ. If you missed it, you can catch up on Rev. Jed Koball’s sermon, “We Journey Together,” here [LINK] and join in God’s call to be in solidarity with our neighbors, both far and near.
In recent years, we have celebrated Epiphany in worship by receiving Epiphany Stars-small cut-outs, lovingly hand-lettered by Rev. Smith-Bartlett with a “Star Word” to be a guide for reflection in the new year. Artist Morgan Harper Nichols has created a digital adaptation [LINK] for folks missing this tradition. As star words fly by in this Instagram Reel, simply close your eyes, and take a screenshot (or tap your device to pause) when you feel ready to receive your word for 2021. (You can find the full list of star words here [LINK].) Or, if carnival attractions and gameshow antics bring you delight, you can try clicking to “Spin the Wheel” here [LINK] to see how the Spirit may be speaking to you through the wonder of random number generation!
Whether your star word resonates deeply with you, or if you forget it within a matter of minutes, I pray that this new year will be a time of God’s light breaking in through the darkness, and that when you reflect on what it means to have survived this past year, that you will remember moments when God’s love surrounded you.
Star Giving by Ann Weems
What I’d really like to give you for Christmas is a star…
Brilliance in a package,
something you could keep in the pocket of your jeans
or in the pocket of your being.
Something to take out in times of darkness,
something that would never snuff out or tarnish,
something you could hold in your hand,
something for wonderment,
something for pondering,
something that would remind you of
what Christmas has always meant:
God’s Advent Light into the darkness of this world.
But stars are only God’s for giving,
and I must be content to give you words and wishes
and packages without stars.
But I can wish you life
as radiant as the Star
that announces the Christ Child’s coming,
and as filled with awe as the shepherds who stood beneath its light.
And I can pass on to you the love
that has been given to me,
ignited countless times by others
who have knelt in Bethlehem’s light.
Perhaps, if you ask, God will give you a star.
From Kneeling in Bethlehem, The Westminster Press, 1980.
Help Us Imagine and Create!
Did you find these online Epiphany stars delightful? If you are intrigued by thinking about ways to adapt worship traditions to work in an online context, please join the Worship Committee as we continue imagining how to make our online worship services more meaningful! We need folks to volunteer as Liturgy Editors to select readings and write prayers for upcoming services. (We’ll set you up with resources, and can even connect you with a worship mentor to talk you through the process!) We need folks to record video and audio clips as virtual liturgists! We need artists-of all ages and experiences and media-to create images and videos as we work together to create LAC’s very own visual culture. Send a note to the office to be paired with a worship mentor, or sign up here to get involved with an up-coming service: [LINK]