This year, our Worship Committee sent out “star words” for Epiphany – which we celebrated a little early, on Sunday.

“Star words,” according to the explanation we got in the mail, are words to “ponder all year long,” to pay attention to and meditate on during the course of the year, with the idea that they may function as signs, present in the ordinary world, to guide us on our own spiritual journey. The term “star words” is obviously a reference to the star that guided the magi on their journey from the East to Jerusalem, to find – and to be met by – Jesus.

Apparently, “handing out star words on Epiphany has become an annual tradition in many Presbyterian congregations.” [This is according to our Pastor, whom I trust, but there’s a longer write-up here, that includes a set of words and a prayer for use by other congregations.] It seems like a neat idea, something that lends a hand to mindfulness. I could use more of that.

I’m open to the idea of star words being a gift from God, by way of the worship team. Part of me thinks most of the possible impact of something like this is likely due to the Reticular Activating System. But those two things wouldn’t have to be mutually exclusive.

So after I listened to the sermon for Epiphany, which included an explanation of the star words and what we were going to be doing with them, I was all excited to dig through the mail and find mine. The envelope from church was addressed to me and to my spouse – because our congregation is decidedly inclusive, and since she’s been attending in-person services during the past months, kind of a long story, she’d been included in this. So we got two star words:

UNITY

DIFFERENCE

I could not make this up if I tried.

We’re not sure whose word is whose, so we’re treating them as our household words for 2021.

We’ve put both of them up on the ledge in front of the cook books for ongoing reference.

We’ll see …
red line embellished

Image: yes, that’s a picture of the words.