I love the word ‘epiphany.’ Epiphanies are those “ah-hah!” moments in life when we suddenly feel we ‘understand’ … we ‘get it’ … we unexpectedly gain insight into the nature or meaning of something (or someone) we hadn’t grasped, gotten or understood previously.
Many around the world are celebrating the Season of Epiphany beginning today, January 6th. Its origin began long ago, when it is said that a star guided three Magi to travel great distance to pay homage to the baby Jesus. Not surprisingly, the image of a star is often seen as a metaphor about bringing light in the midst of darkness … darkness of any kind: physical, emotional, spiritual, political, financial, vocational etc.
I live on an island on the west coast of Canada and when January 6th arrives, it is winter – often raining, overcast or even snowing. Sunshine is seldom seen. Welcoming the Epiphany through images help to bring light into my home and over the years, I’ve found a variety of ways to encourage that – and perhaps one or more of them might be something you might like to adopt as part of your Epiphany/January tradition.
* Handmade Origami paper stars … suspended from the leaves of my indoor plants, across mirrors, on windows and small ones often appear on the Christmas (Now-Epiphany) Tree. Origami paper stars are easy to make (youtube has some easy-to-follow videos), are a creative outlet, simple to do, and remind me of the Star the Magi decided to follow. The paper stars have become a prayerful metaphor that I be guided in making wise decisions.
* Tiny white lights … appear around the house in soooo many places. They weave their way through the plants in the front of the window and they appear on the Christmas tree in place of the coloured lights I remove on Twelfth Night. Tiny white lights remind me to welcome the Light that comes into the world through ordinary people (of all religions, ethnicities, sexual identities, abilities, races) who bring kindness, caring, gentleness, peace, patience, goodness, love, hope, and give thanks for these “bearers of light.”
* Play S.E.W. If you’ve been following the Soulistry blog for a while, you know that I love words and love playing with words. During the Season of Epiphany, I play S.E.W. (Star Epiphany Word). A bit of background about S.E.W.: when I hear people use the word “so” inappropriately (and too often), frustration begins within. Rather than focus on my frustration, I think “SEW,” (not “SO“) and let it be a reminder of my Star Epiphany Word (S.E.W.) which I hope and pray will guide me in some way to a transformative self-growth epiphany.
Each Season of Epiphany, I have fun choosing my S.E.W. This year, my S.E.W. is the word “open.“ I want to be … open to possibilities, learning, sharing, networking and open to changing frustration into play, like creating the S.E.W. word game. 🙂
What about you? How can you encourage Epiphany to make a difference in your life this year? Perhaps you could Choose a S.E.W. to guide you in the coming year. String tiny white lights somewhere in your home. Make origami stars and suspend them on windows, plants, doors. Think of ways you could be the light in the world around you – and bring the light of patience, generosity, forgiveness, gentleness, self-control, thoughtfulness, goodness, kindness to others and your self so that work of Christmas doesn’t stop with Christmas as educator, theologian and civil rights leader Howard Thurman wrote:
“When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with their flocks, the work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among the people, to make music in the heart.”
May it be a Season of light in your life
and in this pandemic world.
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© June Maffin