In my church, our vision for 2018 focuses on how we can share the light of Christ to our neighbors. This theme stood out to me as I was reading some of RevGal friends’ posts from the past few days:
+++ In her post “Reflection,” Joy Freeman asks us to gaze at the a photograph of a window reflecting the lights off of the Christmas tree. The star’s glow shines bright in the glass.
Freeman asks us to ponder this question:
“What is it that you are being called to reflect to the world?”
+++ What happens when the candles are “burned down” and we must look for the light in a post-Christmas Day world? Linda Rhinehart Neas asks the following in her post “When the Stable Is Empty”:
“Once our sacred celebrations are over, what happens? When the stable is empty, the candles are burned down, or the fire is gone cold, what do we do? Do we simply return to our lives as before?”
As part of this post, she includes the poem “The Work of Christmas Begins” by Howard Thurman. He states:
“And to radiate the Light of Christ,every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.Then the work of Christmas begins.”
+++ Boxing Day is a holiday our neighbors from across the world celebrate post-Christmas Day. Friends like Derek Maul describe the Boxing Day celebration through their sharing of the light of Christ through sharing what they have:
“The British celebration of “Boxing Day” (a.k.a. December 26) has a number of stories/explanations attached. But I’ll keep it simple and say that – essentially – the tradition stems from the practice of “boxing” up leftovers and sharing them with the less fortunate.”
+++ In the coming days, the light of Epiphany will be upon us. Mary Luti eloquently articulates the following in her post “Epiphany: Hide and Seek with the Divine”:
“In the dead of winter, the church gives us God-sightings, gives them as if to persuade us that our world only appears solid, still, dark, and cold, but is in fact stirring all the time, ardent, vivid, and porous.”
She concludes this piece by reminding us of the illuminating warmth provided by God in this season:
“Epiphany is the season when God lights a lamp in the dark for us to see by and says, ‘Come closer, closer. You’re getting warm. Now over here. A little more. Yes, yes. Now do you see…?'”
+++ Many of our RevGalBlogPals chose to distribute Star Words each year to their congregants. This blog provides all you need to know about Star Words and how it brings light into the lives of those in our congregations:
“The premise is this: the magi followed the star to find baby Jesus, bringing their gifts. We are also seeking Jesus, trusting God can/does use many signs (or stars) to guide us closer to the Divine presence.
“People are invited to take a star in worship. On each of the stars is a word. I invite people to trust the word that selects them…”
+++ Melissa Krabbe reflects upon her first year with a Star Word:
“On the Sunday we celebrated Epiphany, we each drew a star out of a basket. My star said, “Guidance.” I blogged about the irony of that here.“
“In my first blog about star words, I wondered whether this meant guidance for me (receiving) or guidance for others (giving). I’ve found through the course of the year that I have to keep both in view. I need it, and I inevitably give it, and not always intentionally.”
Whether we reflect upon our transition from Christmas to Epiphany through Star Words or meals or quietly gazing upon the lights upon our trees, may we see the Divine in each moment of these holy seasons!
If you also blogged about the light that shines during the seasons of Christmas and Epiphany, please post links in the comments below!
The Rev. Michelle L. Torigian is the Pastor of St. Paul United Church of Christ, Old Blue Rock Road in Cincinnati. Her essay “Always a Pastor, Never the Bride” was in the RevGalBlogPals book There’s a Woman in the Pulpit. She also has chapters in the books Sacred Habits: The Rise of the Creative Clergy and A Child Laughs: Prayers for Justice and Hope. Torigian blogs at http://www.michelletorigian.com.
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