Did you receive a star word at Epiphany? It’s a new-ish tradition that helps provide focus for Christians for the upcoming year. The star is a reminder of what guided the Magi to Jesus (hence the Epiphany timing). And it is a reminder that we are also seeking Jesus, trusting that God uses many signs (or stars) to draw us closer. Words on stars are handed out in worship. For many churches, distribution was done other ways this year. As I prepared and mailed star words for the children, youth, and adults in our congregation, I noticed that many of the words started with the letters “re.”
Recharge, Recreate, Refocus, Refresh, Refuel, Rejoice, Remember, Renew, Repent, Reset, Revive.
“Re” is a prefix meaning “back to the original place—again, anew, once more”—to charge again, to create anew, to focus once more. Spring is a good time to consider where we are and where we hope to be as communities of faith. How can we refresh? Especially this spring of 2021. Perhaps we’ll need more than a refresh this year. Our renewing and reviving will also benefit from rebirth. Some exciting new things are coming!
We’ve got a lot of work to do as we anticipate the pandemic winding down and gathering in person more regularly and more fully. What will we hang on to that we experienced the last year? What will we let go? What needs to be restored? What do we need to do that’s brand spanking new?
There’s another critical “re” word for this time. During his very important ministry, Jesus also found time to pull away, to pray, to nap. For respite. And he encouraged his disciples to do the same. In the Gospel of Mark we read that Jesus said, “Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.” And then “They departed in a boat by themselves for a deserted place.” And as you may remember, this was right before they assisted Jesus in feeding the masses. Sometimes we need to “rest up” before and not just wait and “rest from” afterward.
Whether it’s time for a recharge or a respite, getting outdoors is a good way to welcome warmer weather (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere). GenOn has, and will continue to offer, some ways to do that intergenerationally with your own household and safely as a church community. Check out these possibilities here. We also think it’s a window of opportunity for the church to do some refocusing for what’s ahead. Here are some simple ways to engage with us for online intergenerational ministry workshops and planning with Visioning Tools for Intergenerational Ministty.
If you were wondering, my star word for 2021 is “meditate.” A good respite word for me. My prayer and hope is that God will help you find a healthy balance between respite and recharge and the wisdom to know when to do which.