After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2.
The wise men used a star as their GPS to Jesus. Putting their faith in a star changed and transformed these ordinary people into extraordinary believers in Christ. How can we learn from these wise ones? I believe we can learn to trust and follow our own stars much like they did when they took notice of the brilliant star in the sky.
The star is a metaphor for the light of Christ. The light of Christ’s presence has the ability to burn bright in all of our lives. However, sometimes it seems the light dims as life gets the best of us. In such times, we need to find ways to keep it burning bright. One of the ways we can do this is by discovering more about ourselves. Enter the Star Word experience.
During the season of Epiphany, we have invited each of you to receive a Star Word. Many of you have already received your Star Word. Yet, if you have not, please make sure to get one the next time you are at church. If you live afar, we will send you your Star Word in the mail. Just call the church office at (636) 926-8995. Once you have a star, it is important to take action steps in discovering what the word on your star might mean for you in the coming year. Otherwise, your Star Word is simply a word on a piece of paper in the shape of a star. The idea in taking action is to rediscover Christ’s light in your life and allow it to reshape your life in the image of Christ. Essentially, it can become your GPS to Jesus.
Consider the star itself. A star has five points. In terms of the Star Word, each point can represent different ways you can learn more about your word and how your word can become transformational in your walk with Christ.
As the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Unpacking the meaning of your Star Word is a way you can be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Here are some suggestions of five ways to unpack the meaning of your Star Word:
Consider how the first point on your star could point you to the actual meaning of the word itself. If you have a computer with access to the Internet, do a Google search on your word. Enter your word in the search engine and add the + sign and see what definitions emerge because of your search. Read the different definitions. Look for other words that might help define your Star Word. Then look those words up. This practice will help you discover the definitions and deeper meanings of your Star Word.
Allow the second point on your star to point you to scripture. Repeat the process above with Google. Except this time, use the word scripture. Try to find as many scriptures that relate to your star word as possible. Make a game of it. Remember this is supposed to be a fun project. Once you find the scriptures, study the scriptures themselves. Use a study bible that has commentary at the bottom. If you would like to ask me more about the scripture, I invite you to reach out to me. I look forward to the opportunity to help you explore the scriptures and discuss the meaning they might have for you.
Let the third point on our star point you to prayer. Pray over your Star Word daily. Ask God to open your mind, heart, and spirit to a deeper understanding of your word. Share with God what you have done with your word so far and ask for God’s guidance on how to continue to use your word for God’s glory.
Ponder how the fourth point on your star might point you to creation. In Genesis 1:16, we are reminded God created light. “God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. God also made the stars.” This creation at the very beginning of time provided God’s children with the ability to see in the day and in the night. This was not only for practical reasons, but also for spiritual reasons.
The spiritual light of Christ can be more fully illuminated in our lives to draw us closer to Christ, one another, and ourselves. You have an opportunity to create and illumine many things with your Star Word. Consider this as an opportunity in this year to create closer relationships: A closer relationship with God, A closer relationship with Jesus. Closer relationships with family and friends, and even those we have not yet met.
PAYING IT FORWARD
Choose to see how the fifth point on our star could point you to greater kindness or what we call paying it forward. Don’t keep your discoveries and transformations to yourself. Share them with others. When we share our Star Words with others, people have an opportunity to learn more about you as well as to learn more about themselves in the process.
During the season of Lent, we will spend time on our Star Words. We will have an opportunity to continue to learn, create, share with others, and continue to be transformed. May God bless each one of you with Christ’s transformational presence as we journey together using our Star Words as our GPS to Jesus.