We have a lovely tradition at our church that takes place on Epiphany Sunday. Each person in the congregation receives a Star upon which is written a word that may impact on their life in some way during the coming year. The words refer to qualities of life, both temporal and spiritual - like prayer, forgiveness, acceptance, rejoicing, family, goals, community, music, worship. The Stars are all placed (face down) in the offering plates and passed through the congregation - our minister always jokes that it's the only Sunday when we each to get to take something out of the plate rather than putting something in. A buzz of excitement filters from front to back of the church, as people dig around in the plate to get just the perfect feeling Star, and then discover what their word is. Sometimes, it's all too uncanny, the way the words seem to fit the person. One of my dear friends, who is a well known and respected music teacher, composer, and conductor, has picked the "music" star for 5 of the past 10 years - no kidding! (I got the "music" star once.) I've missed Star Sunday for the past three years because we were in Florida on Epiphany Sunday. So I was excited to be there this year. I was even more excited because during the past year, one of my favorite blogger friends just happens to go by the name of "Star," and I was eager to pick one of our Stars for her, too.
So, when the offering plate came to me, I picked a star for myself, and then held her in my thoughts as I picked another one. Here's the result:
My star was "reading," which is of course, one of the most important elements of my life, and has been ever since I picked up my first book at the age of 2. But lately, reading has become even more valuable to me, as I read with writing in mind, studying the craft of other writers in an effort to improve my own writing abilities.
My friend Star's star was "stories," and it will be up to her to tell you how this manifests itself in her life over the coming year. I know she's written some wonderful stories of her own in the year gone by, and I have a feeling there are a lot more waiting inside her :)
I'm not surprised that our stars would match up like this, because it's pretty uncanny how often we seem to be on the same wavelength - on line at the same time, reading the same blogs at the same time, and thinking along the same lines about numerous things.
This is the prayer after the gift of stars has been received:
Leader: Creator of all light, today, as in every day of our lives, we have received another gift from you. Perhaps it is a quality of life, a spiritual value, or a dimension of being.
People: We ackowledge that we do not yet fully understand this gift, but we receive it with thanksgiving. We pray that through these next 12 months, your Spirit will enable us to make this gift our very own.
May you each find a star to guide you through the coming year, and make it's light your own.