On 4th December our Advent Evening was a series of 12 prayer stations on the
theme of journeying.
At the beginning we were invited to follow the star.
Then we considered if we were carrying unnecessary baggage that weighed us down in our journey.
Station 4 offered a moment to pause at the oasis and consider the magi travelling through the desert. Where do we find refreshment in dry times?
Redirected in our journey, we gave thanks for the people who had been sign posts on our way
The wise men turned to Herod for help, and then were betrayed by him. We prayed about those times when we have felt betrayed, lied to, or let down, and accepted the oil as a symbol of healing for brokenness
At the manger, we enjoyed being in the presence of the Christ-Child, and left the gifts that we had chosen to prepare
Jesus brought light into the world.
The icon at the 9th prayer station is of the Nativity, but Joseph is sitting on the edge, looking out, overcome by doubt. We lit candles for those who feel like Joseph, and for ourselves.
Despite Herod's terrible actions, Jesus and his family escaped. The feathers reminded us of our fragility, and how carefully God holds us in the palm of his hand.
Mary, Joseph and Jesus escaped, but became refugees. The globe reminded us of all the many places where people live as refugees, and the countries they have left.
At the end of the journey is the return home, to the normal routines, to the Christmas preparations.
The Celtic Christians had prayers for the everyday household jobs, so that every moment was offered to God.
Going to bed
I rest this night with God
And God will rest with me.
I rest this night with Christ
And Christ will rest with me.
I rest this night with the Spirit
And the Spirit will rest with me.
God and Christ and the Spirit
Be lying down with me.