Weekly Devotion for January 30, 2023
By Barbara Certa-Werner
Last week, I participated in the Wisconsin Annual Conference’s Personnel Committee and Rev. Jenny Arneson, chair, picked a “Star Word” for each member. For those unfamiliar with Star Words, also called “star gifts,” it is a prayer practice connected to Epiphany and the New Year. The idea is that a list of intention words, or guiding words, are written, or printed on paper stars and handed out. These words are meant to be used for reflection, for focus, and an invitation to a deeper relationship with Jesus.
As Pastor Jenny choose these words, she was excited to reveal each one to us. Her joy of sharing led to joy within the group. My word is “justice.” WOW! This is a simple word but very powerful. I was immediately intrigued by the randomly chosen word for me.
After the meeting, I thought about what this word means to me, my relationship with God, all God’s creation, and how I might embrace this star word in a new way this year. Justice, in a Biblical sense means “to make right.” It is a relational term that is lived out in the life and person of Jesus Christ, who healed the sick, defended the weak, and set us free from the oppression of sin and death. Jesus welcomes and loves everyone. How do I live into this understanding?
And that, my friends, is always the challenge for us. How often have we heard something but refused to make the changes necessary to draw ourselves closer to God and whom God has called us to be? How often have we heard the invitation? Yet, we continue to live our lives as we choose, under our perceived dominion, often forgetting to Whom we belong and what we are called to be: God’s beloved. “For you were called to freedom, siblings. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).
Beloved ones, we are a forgetful people. We need constant reminders of who we are, to Whom we belong, our purpose, and our calling. It is with purpose and determination that we read/engage in scripture, participate in worship, be intentional about our prayer and devotional life, work for mercy and justice – less we forget. The Star Word of Justice is one more invitation.
If you are interested in a Star Word for yourself, here is a link of a full list of Star Words, https://thetableumc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Star-Words.pdf. Choosing one randomly is one way to challenge yourself and make it more exciting!
These words are a gift to you. My prayer is that the star would lead you where you need to go. Thanks be to God.