Recently there was an amazing lunar eclipse that captured the imagination of my eleven-year-old. She is an aspiring astronaut and loves everything about space exploration. Her wonder and curiosity are filled with joy. Even as a small child she loved the story of the wise men following the star to find the savior, baby Jesus, in the manger in Bethlehem.
Epiphany is the perfect time for all of us to peer at the stars and dream of what lies beyond. Even as we come closer to finding out the secrets of the universe, there is still so much mystery to the planets and moons in our galaxy. The holy time of Epiphany or “God with us” is celebrated with the star. This season of the star comes just as Christmas is winding down. It is easy to arrive at the days after Christmas with some let-down and weariness. For children, Epiphany is wonderful time to talk about mystery and the wonder of God’s creation. It is a perfect opportunity to keep Christmas in focus as the start of something truly amazing.
There are star crafts that make for beautiful creations. My favorite is to take paper or wooden stars and write beautiful words on them with a gold pen. The words are inspirational like faith, joy, love, peace, care, kindness, and so on. Each child makes a star with a word and then focuses on that word for Epiphany. How can they be like their word? When do they feel connected to that word in their life? How can that word help them think about their family and friends? The ideas are endless. Epiphany can be a time of looking at the stars and finding new meaning of God with us.
Another fun Epiphany event can be a star watch party. It is cold in Epiphany but often the sky is clear on January nights and looking at stars can be a great place to gather for a few minutes before an indoor warm-up with cocoa and marshmallows. You may find a member of your congregation is an avocational astronomer and will bring a telescope to your event to help see even more clearly the beauty of the stars and planets. Gathering under the canopy of stars in the cold of winter might even spark the children in your church to dream of their own star-guided journey.