O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.”

I am feeling a little sad today, not just because the Yuletide officially ends on the Twelfth Day of Christmas, but because I am not baking a kings’ cake nor am I hosting an Epiphany party, something I have done faithfully for several decades (except last year). With the Omicron virus out of control right now, it would be irresponsible to gather in person and so I must celebrate virtually, or simply in my heart, this special day in the year.

Parties on Twelfth Night I have had in the past are remembered with great joy: baking a tiny plastic baby in the kings’ cake, donning crowns, moving the three Magi closer to the Christ child, giving little gifts of stars, and chocolate coins to my guests. All these activities have great significance to me, I suppose because my primary love language is gift-giving, and I am grieving the lost opportunity.

But it is a bright, sunshiny day in Southern California. The light this time of year is so brilliant that it reminds me of the star of Bethlehem and a dream I once had: It was the dead of night but suddenly a great light appeared in the sky and everyone woke up, came out of their homes, and walked down to the beach following the radiance. When we arrived, we were enveloped in warmth, unity, peace and joy. We were one in the love that enveloped us, emanating from the trinitarian love song that plays at the heart of all creation. Best of all–we all recognized it!

On this Twelfth Day of Christmas, I plan to leave little gifts anonymously on the doorsteps of my neighbors. I not only want to follow the light, I wanted to be a light for someone today. I hope and pray you are too.

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