Deep calls to deepPsalm 42:7
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.
I am not sure where or when it started, but recently – first at WFPC and now at Hudson Memorial – Rebekah and I have looked forward with real anticipation to the “star gifts” we receive at church on Epiphany Sunday. This year we were not disappointed.
Epiphany is celebrated on the first Sunday after January 6th, pastor Mac astutely noted, because “Very few Presbyterians would show up for a service on (this year) a Thursday!”
We have already discussed the essential idea of Epiphany (“Grant Us Wisdom, Grant us Courage…”) but – in a nutshell – the word holds the idea of discovery, particularly in the area of faith.
The star gifts (which at WFPC were handed out to the congregation by the children) have inspirational/aspirational words printed on one side. The idea is to pick one at random, then use the star as a word of encouragement, maybe even a divine imperative, a catalyst for spiritual growth in the coming year.
Traditionally, people turn over their star to find words such as “patience,” “joy” “kindness,” “faith,” “hope,” or “encouragement.”
This year whoever prepped the stars waded a little deeper into the pool of possibilities, coming up with a plethora of prayer-worthy words to help stimulate both our imaginations and our spiritual growth.
In a word…
All the words were potentially appropriate, but Rebekah and I have both found ourselves challenged (in the best way) by the stars that found their way into our hands on the way into worship.
Mine reads, “depth.” Rebekah’s says, “creativity.”
For me, especially when it comes to my work as a writer and a teacher, depth is a very instructive and aspirational word for 2022. There is always the danger – in using descriptive or emotive language – of failing to explore my calling to communicate below the surface and all the way to the soul.
I plan to fix my star gift near my computer screen, and to pray that God will speak both to me and through me in 2022.
Depth, and this comes from a hybrid of various dictionaries, has to do with wisdom; the strength and the power; the quality of knowing or understanding the scope and the details of something, along with the ability to both provide insight and explain; depth speaks to the profound, the most extreme or serious part of something.
If you continue to take this blog journey with me into 2022, then I pray my words – and photographs – will help to navigate the depths we need to explore as faithful followers of Jesus.
Rebekah’s word, creativity, has essentially defined her life in ministry. The challenge now, as she continues to work on what it means to be retired, is how to use the unique gifts God has given to her – her skill and imagination, her resourcefulness and her passion, her authenticity and her joy, her gifts as a communicator – to be creative in new ways.
Please pray for us, then, as we move forward into all the possibilities held in 2022. And watch this space. If I can’t be deep all the time, then at least I will be authentic. Peace and more – DEREK