It is a prayer practice in churches all over the world to give people a star word on Epiphany Sunday. There are many reasons behind this tradition. First, we know that the Magi followed a star, which ultimately led them to Jesus. Therefore, we too use all the resources we have available to us — including creative prayer practices and intention words for the new year — to move closer to Jesus. Secondly, we trust that God uses multiple ways to guide us and speak to us. Star words are one such lens that might provide us with a way to look for God in our midst, both actively and in hindsight. Finally, we know that the most common prayer practice for many involves speaking to God as opposed to silence or contemplation. However, this prayer practice invites a new prayer rhythm of reflection and review that can be a powerful way to connect with God. So in worship today, you will be invited to select a star word. Consider this a guiding word for the year ahead. We invite you to remember your star word often, seeking the ways God might be moving through the meanings and definitions the word contains.
You are invited to journey with this word for the coming year. What is God calling you to learn from this word at this time? You are invited, as in past years, to take this star word and ponder how it can be a gift to you in your faith journey. You can put it on your refrigerator, tape it to your computer screen, put it next to your bed, or anywhere that you will see the star everyday and reflect on it.
Many of you have told us over the years how much you have enjoyed this activity and how you have grown from walking with a word for the year. It is amazing how each word tends to be perfect for each recipient. Sometimes people know right away why their word is significant and how God is speaking to them through that word. Sometimes the meaning is revealed to people more slowly. In either case, you are invited to take this Star Word as a gift and open your heart to how God’s presence is breaking into your life through this word this year.