Yesterday one of our open days at church was unattended, I felt sad and disappointed in myself, oh how I wish I could just show them how wonderful the Lord is. I prayed for those around the town to be able to hear the call of Cbrist and for our congregation to bring the light of our Lord into those around them.
As the session started it was just myself and the Vicar, then he had to leave.
When he left, not at one point did I feel alone, the church in silence is such a place of warmth. I sat for a moment in the hall and it felt strange that I wasn’t inside the main body of the Church. I walked up the aisle and the sun was shining in from the clear windows to the right. The altar was scattered in patches of light, so inviting and still. I love to touch the altar as I walk past, I don’t know why but as soon as I am next to it I have the urge to.
I lit the candles next to the prayer station and sat down. I thought I would use the clay I had brought to make decorations for the women in our congregation, praying for each name I stamped, I probably have missed some, but I’m hoping that if I have, they will come to me and I will make one for them.
A person walked through the door, thank the Lord! He wrote his Christmas cards and thanked me for being there, I realised that attendance is an issue but being open allows people to come in, instead of going elsewhere, I finished the session with prayer.
Here is my session I’d planned for the day
– you will need some air dryable clay, a wooden skewer (to roll the clay and make a hole for the ribbon), a used tealight (upturn it to cut out the shape), and alphabet stamps.
Advent session week 2
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.’ So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, ‘Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?’ declares the Lord. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. (Jeremiah 18:1-6)
Our Heavenly Father made us, sculpted us like a potter at the wheel. Our fragile raw material, soft to the touch, still malleable , allows our experiences to mould us, to make us individuals.
Our fragility is witnessed when we are exposed to the wilderness. However, in the wilderness there is time to be rejuvenated, a time to sit back onto the potter’s wheel, a space to once again be in the hands of our creator.
Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
Do not be angry beyond measure, Lord;
do not remember our sins for ever.
Oh, look upon us we pray,
for we are all your people.
Place a piece of clay in your hands and start to change its shape
Think about John the Baptist in the wilderness, being moulded by God’s will.
Roll out the clay flat
Think about the emptiness of the wilderness and the time and space it allows us to listen to God, like John paving the way for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Cut out one shape
John, a voice of one calling from the wilderness, baptising Jesus who in turn baptises us with the Holy Spirit.
Print your name onto your shape
Jesus calls us all by name to follow him
O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel our weakness and helplessness, give us the sense of Your presence, Your love, and Your strength. Help us to have perfect trust in Your protecting love and strengthening power, so that nothing may frighten or worry us, for, living close to You, we shall see Your hand, Your purpose, Your will through all things.
(By St. Ignatius of Loyola, 1491-1556)