Posted on January 10, 2024
Last Sunday in worship, we explored and received star words for the year ahead. The use of star words is a prayer practice connected to Epiphany (the arrival of the Magi to visit the Christ child) and the new year. The idea is that a list of intention words, or guiding words, are written or printed on paper stars. The stars are then distributed at random. Individuals are often encouraged to place their star word somewhere they will see it regularly throughout the year to allow consistent reflection on how God has moved through, around, or in connection to that word.
How might we seek to deepen our faith through star words?
• The Magi followed a star, which ultimately led them to Jesus. Therefore, we are invited to use resources we have available to us—including creative prayer practices and intention words for the new year—to explore our faith and connect with the Divine.
• We trust that God uses multiple ways to guide us and speak to us. Star words are one such lens that might provide us a way to look for God in our midst, both actively and in hindsight.
• Having an intention word to reflect on throughout the year allows us to see God in ways we may not have seen God before. This is both a gift and a blessing.
• There are many beautiful ways to develop a prayer practice, including spoken word, silence, contemplation, and meditation. Star words invite a new prayer rhythm of reflection and review that can be another powerful way to connect with God.
• By receiving a star word chosen at random, we practice the spiritual task of receiving. It is not we who are in control in this moment. Instead, we trust that God is present, and we let go of our desire to cultivate or control.
Ideas for using your star word:
You might display your star word in your home or wherever you’ll see it often. Get creative—seek beautiful ways to add your star words to spaces so that you will continue to see them and think about them throughout the year.
Guiding questions to reflect on (from Illustrated Ministry):
• How might your star word relate to upcoming life events/experiences?
• How do you imagine your star word guiding you this year?
• What is something you are diligently searching for?
• What was your initial reaction/emotion when you received your star word?
• What might God be trying to reveal to you through your star word?