Scripture ~ “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Spiritual Focus ~ “Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.” -Carl Sandburg

Breath Prayer ~ Create your own breath prayer using your star word.

Story ~ Words are our primary form of communication and how we use them to express ourselves can directly affect our relationships. In the Bible, we read many examples of how God’s Word creates, guides, illumines, redeems, to name a few. God created order out of chaos with the words, “Let there be…”. We speak of Jesus as the Word that became flesh and lived among us. The psalmist in Psalm 119 sings, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” The scripture for today is often spoken at the beginning of a sermon, calling on God’s Holy Spirit to guide what the pastor says. Words have the power to inform us, enlighten us, and build relationships. However, words can also cause harm when spoken irresponsibly. We are well served to measure our words before speaking because it is true that once they are spoken, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.

A positive use of words is in the practice of star words. Years ago, an Episcopal Priest decided to celebrate Epiphany by giving randomly chosen words written on paper stars as gifts to her people. The star word was intended to guide each recipient through the coming year just as the star guided the Magi. For the past several years, Pastor Cindy has been the keynote speaker at an Epiphany celebration for a woman’s group at a local church where star words were a favorite part of the evening. After receiving the star word, women shared stories of how the word was surprisingly relevant to their life circumstances. Last year a pastor attended the event and her star word was faith. At the time everybody laughed about it! A pastor who needs to focus on faith! Really!? When this pastor reconnected with Pastor Cindy recently to see if the star word event was going to happen this year, she shared that her star word of faith became increasingly important in how she guided her congregation through a tough year of complex issues.

In yoga philosophy there is the practice of finding your sankalpa, a word, mantra, or intention to guide you. The premise is that you already have what you need within you, you just need to focus energy toward connecting to a higher truth with that intention. Through deep listening, one finds their sankalpa or their star word. Both star words and the yogic sankalpa are examples of words used positively and powerfully to express the meditations of our hearts.

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