Look for the star

Look for the star

As a preacher I know I am often preaching to myself more than to anyone else.  Today I am writing this blog for myself – but listen in if you would like to!  Perhaps together we can look for the star…

star

The Twelve Days of Christmas ended last night, Twelfth Night.  All the decorations are supposed to be packed away now.  Shops are no longer playing Christmas music.  “Peace on earth” has not materialised.  The world is still as full of suffering and injustice as it was at the end of 2016.  I have eaten too much over the past two weeks.  Here in Glasgow the weather today can only be described as “dreich”.   I have a huge backlog of emails to be answered, paperwork to be completed, preparation for the year ahead to be tackled…

All of that just about amounts to a list of “reasons to be miserable”…

As I unlocked the front door after a trip to the supermarket this morning (more food?!) 20170106_121746 I was suddenly assailed by a heavenly scent (maybe it was heaven-sent!)  The “Christmas Box” shrub on our porch bears tiny white star-shaped flowers at this time of year, whose fragrance is out of all proportion to their size.  Today is the first day I have noticed the scent this winter, and delight pierced the gloom of a grey, wet, ordinary, busy day.  After all, today is the Feast of the Epiphany – a celebration of the “shining out” of the light of Christ.  As the wise dean of Durham Cathedral said two years ago when I was there for evening prayer on 5th January, “Twelfth Night is not the end of Christmas but the enlarging of it…”

So, our fairy lights are staying up a bit longer, as this truth sinks in.  I then began looking around the house, noticing how many stars are around and determining to allow the light to shine out, and to shine in too – to shine into my downbeat mood.

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stars

In the garden as well, some other plants are shining through the rain:

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starryIn the kitchen I lit three candles for Epiphany, promised  myself I would try, throughout this season of Epiphany, to keep on offering whatever I can to God (starting with aforementioned emails, paperwork and preparation), to keep on praying for that peace to come, to keep on looking for the stars…

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and recalled the excellent words of a hymn we sang last Sunday.  “The silent stars shine down on us” by Herman G. Stuempfle Jr. (Singing the Faith 231) of which this is the final verse:

“O Christ, the bright and morning Star, whose radiance does not fade,

whose glory filled the universe before the planets played:

come, heal our hearts of blinding doubt till faith shall end in sight.

shine down upon our darkened earth and conquer sin’s long night.”

Amen!

 

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3 thoughts on “Look for the star

  1. As we celebrate CHRISTmas today, having handed the commercial tinsel christmas back to the pagans, it has been good to see how our quiet celebrations were filled with light and peace, feelings of good news and true inner happiness; as distinct from feelings of over-fed and bedazzled by flashing lights and a frantic gift search.
    The ‘escape’ from the ‘gaudiness of the world’s christmas, like you Jill, saw the day filled with beauty and nature – the shoots in the garden, the colours in some bushes – signs of HOPE and PROMISE.
    So thank you for your ‘stars’ and your ‘perfume’ – true signs of the first CHRISTmas.
    Blessings to you both.

    Jim and Olive

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  2. Your blogs always give me food for thought Jill. Thank you. We visited a garden centre today and bought potted bulbs to transplant into our rather bare garden. It will be interesting to watch what ‘pops up’ later in the year. Nature is wonderful. New life and growth always gives joy.

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  3. Beautifully put, thank you Jill. ‘Open the eyes of our hearts, Lord……’ so that we live throughout 2017 filled with light and hope.

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