The Word that Rings Deep and True

| January 12th, 2024

Dear Beloved Community,

“What was your star word?,” Cyrus whispered to Pat as they walked back to their seats.

“Quiet!,” she responded with a chuckle.

“Well that’s appropriate –  mine’s ‘speak’!,” Cyrus laughed.

After the choir worship, Pat noticed someone had left their star sitting out in the robing room. And as she asked aloud, “did anyone leave their star word behind?,” she turned over the word to see what it was: ‘remember.’

In the days since Sunday’s worship, it has been my delight to hear your stories (like Pat’s!) and responses to the star words you drew unbeknownst to you. (And speaking of ‘delight’ – ask Roper how excited she is to have this one!) You’ve pondered what ‘freedom’ will mean in your life this year, how you’ll live out ‘rhythm,’ what particular ‘balance’ will emerge for you in the months and minutes ahead. With those star words now affixed somewhere for you to see and ponder (and ‘see’ and ‘ponder’, whoever has them!), I trust that Epiphany’s revealing through your word will become a gift for you to open with each new day. 

Yet almost before you can uncover what that star word will mean to you, something more fundamental is at hand – remembering who and whose you are, this year and every year. Identity holds, even as words fail. Identity comes in so many forms, of course, that matter deeply and shape significantly for us all. For those of us baptized in and through Christ, our baptismal identity is right at the very heart. This Sunday in worship, we’ll see again what is revealed when Jesus of Nazareth took his place at the water’s edge. In so doing, we’ll remember our own baptisms even as we remember his.

In a year with one star word to ponder among many, many words of our country’s rancorous politics and our alienating discourse ahead, may the word that rings deepest and truest for you be God’s word about you: “you are my beloved child. In you, I am well pleased.”

Together in God’s work of Love,
Pastor Emily