Saturday, March 07, 2015

Into the wilderness revisited - part 2

So - the stations themselves...were something like this.

At the font - preparing to travel
This is the place where the Christian journey begins. 
Here we are washed clean, and celebrate our new birth into God's family.
We remember that water cleans and refreshes, that it is essential to life.
But we remember too the devastating power of flood and tsunami - the way that water can change your whole landscape in just a few moments.
Take a stone - and hold it as you reflect on those things that burden you, that dominate your life landscape unhelpfully, those things which you long to have washed away.
When you are ready, drop your stone into the font
As you leave, you may wish to dip your finger in the water and trace the cross on your forehead as a sign of your continued commitment to travel with God.

Here is a map - it might be the route planner for your life journey - with God and towards God. 
God is our "true north" - the fixed point to which all our longings and all our journeyings should lead - but we are so easily distracted.
The compass points north for you - but you can use the magnets to confuse it, to draw that needle away from north just as other distractions draw you away from God.
Spend a moment thinking of what distracts you and ask God to help you to return to him again and again, just as the compass needle does when the magnets are removed.
(the magnets were brightly coloured "magnetic marbles" - which always distract me splendidly - so were doubly effective!) 

When Jesus was in the wilderness, he was offered three different temptations by the devil - who offered him the easy life - food, power and fame- but on the devil's terms. Jesus knew that his whole purpose was to live God's way, with no short cuts - so he turned the devil away.

Spend time thinking of of 2 or 3 temptations that you struggle with.

Write them down - ask God to help you to deal with them - then shred them as a sign that with God's help you will reject those temptations and move on.
(I love that using the shredder is noisy: dealing with temptations is very rarely smooth, silent or painless - and often disrupts other people on their journey too)

The wilderness is dry, arid - not alot grows, still less flourishes there.
But where there is water, miracles can happen.

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus..
Take a flower. As you hold it, think of a hope that you cherish, a longing that seems almost impossible.
Fold the petals carefully into the centre of the flower then place it, petal side up, in the water.
Wait and see what happens.
Your wait may seem impossibly long.
Is anything going to happen at all?
Wait. See. Rejoice.
Prayers are answered - but God's time is not like ours.

Impressions (based on a script by Jonny Baker from Alternative Worship)

In front of you is some sand.
Take off your shoes and socks and step into the sand to make a footprint - or draw a pattern with the stick.
This is your moment to make an impression.

What will be left of us when we've left?  What will we leave behind us? What will surviving witnesses say? Will the future be better because of what we did with our present? 
How long does it take to make a difference? (Can I start now?)
What will history say of us when we are history?
What will be left of us when we've left?

Holy Space
God is here and you are welcome.
This is your space to be with God - and God's space to be with you.
Make yourself at home. Be yourself. Be real. There's no rush.
Be still and let God love you.

Here God knows you.
Here God welcomes you.
Here God speaks to you.
Be fed.

Take bread and remember that God sustains both your body and your soul.

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