“Epiphany” is a word meaning manifestation, revelation, or showing forth. At the Epiphany of the Lord (observed on the calendar on January 6th, or the Sunday closest to it) we celebrate the manifestation of God’s saving purposes to all the nations of the world.
Just as the Magi came from a distant land to worship the Christ child, God’s covenant of grace is extended to all people who believe the good news of Jesus Christ. In Epiphany, the symbolism of light is important—not only because of the star that guided the Magi, but also as it suggests the bright dawning of God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ. As Christians, we are called to bear Christ’s light in the world.
Our liturgical color changes from the blue of Advent to white for Epiphany, and we focus our attention on images of light and the showing forth of the Messiah in our lives. One way to celebrate the season of Epiphany is to start out the new year with a “star word.” A star word is a random word that becomes a prayer guide, a focus, a way to watch for God. God can use anything to speak to us. There is nothing magical about a star word. But a star word begins as a mystery; typically you do not choose it. And so, it invites investigation, attentiveness, waiting. A star word orients you to watch for God in a particular way, to be receptive to the Spirit who is moving right now in the world around you.
On Sunday, January 7th our worship celebration of Epiphany will include the distribution of “star words” for everyone present. Come and see what word might guide you in 2024!