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Godspace Post on Epiphany 2020

EPIPHANY THE DAY OF EPIPHANY IS HERE!January 6, 2020 By Emily Huff — Today is Epiphany which marks the Season of Light.  In the church calendar, Epiphany comes after the 12 days of Christmas and lasts until Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent.  For over a decade, our family has carried on a tradition for Epiphany using a beautiful liturgy around our table, and over the years, it has become one of my favorite gatherings.
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Blessing of the Backpacks 2019

our tradition continues on the day before school starts....  "We want you to get off to a great start this school year, and as you go to school, we want you to know that your neighborhood loves you and will be praying for you.  So, we’d like to bless you and your backpacks, to help get you ready.  Alright, here we go.  Everybody take off your backpacks, turn toward us, and hold them up high!" 

Adapted from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Knoxville, TN and

What is the Most Important Thing You Know?

Today is Pentecost, the day we celebrate God's gift to us of the Holy Spirit and we also celebrate the birthday of the church.

I asked Jason and the kids to gather with me today to blow up some red balloons in celebration of the day and to read a few passages of Scripture to talk about the significance of this day; I was grateful that they all obliged and were good sports.  We read the following passages of Scripture:
Genesis 1:1-4
Genesis 2:4-7
1 Kings 19:1-13
Psalm 133
Matthew 3:13-17
John 7:37-39 
Acts 2:1-4 

As we read these, I challenged us all to listen for the thread through these passages of what these tell us about the Holy Spirit. 

These were some of the things that seemed to pop out:
breath of life
life giving water tongues of fire dove of peace still small voice  community inclusion  unity declaration of our belovedness 
I then asked everyone a question that I heard recently from our neighbor Jaime. Apparently when she and her husband Adam were about to go out of town on a trip with…

Easter glory

My favorite part of Easter morning is putting the flowers on our crown of thorns (a tradition we have done now for 10 years).  It is a reminder to me that no sin is greater than God's love and that no matter what our past has been, we can begin anew. 
God continues to journey with us today, and this journey comes to fulfillment in the Resurrection. All the pain, suffering, mistakes, sins, successes, and failures of the human family are brought to new life in the risen Jesus. “To remember what God has done and continues to do for me, for us, to remember the road we have traveled; this is what opens our hearts to hope for the future.”  (Pope Francis, Homily at the Easter Vigil, 30 March 2013) 

the gift of chalk

Epiphany is a day I look forward to every year as I need to hear these words  in this liturgy again and again....  O God, you once used a star to show to all the world that Jesus is your Son. May the light of that star that once guided wise men to honor his birth, now guide us to recognize him also, to know you by faith, and to see you in the epiphanies of the daily experiences of our lives.

 the gift of chalk... 
pictures from Knoxville, 2011 

pictures from Seattle 2019 

Frivolous Necessities

The night after Anna's 16th birthday, I was tucking her into bed, and I said to her, "Thank you for being such a good sport with all of the birthday festivities and silly antics with all of the frivolous....."  Then Anna added the word "necessities...." to finish my sentence. 
Yes, that just about sums up how we celebrate. They are indeed frivolous necessities.  So grateful that we can mark these times and make a big deal about little things. It's one of my favorite things to do around here. 
Below are pictures of the chocolate fountain we got for Anna's sweet sixteen  (one of the best frivolous necessities! ) 

Taylor's Crossing

Our boy is turning 13 this month so we've been intentional about trying to create something that would fit his personality and that would speak to his heart to help mark this "crossing" year.  We did a more elaborate version of this for his sister, Anna, but he made it very clear that he did not want the same kind of pageantry.  
As we thought about how to tweak some of our ideas that we'd put in place before, we still had some of the same goals that we'd had for Anna.  The ultimate message that we wanted him to hear and remember was that he is loved. One small thing we did in preparation to drive this home was that we had him memorize Psalm 139 over a period of a few months as this passage is a beautiful reminder of God's love for us and His presence with us.  
We also wanted Taylor to know that as he turned from 12 to 13 into the realm of being a teenager that he was not doing this alone. We wanted him to know that he has a team of people who are with him, ch…