Advent Prayer Stations 2: John the Baptist
John the Baptist is usually remembered on the third Sunday in Advent. This Sunday can also be known as Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday. Some churches use a pink candle for this Sunday instead of the usual purple.
1 The light shines in the darkness...
"In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it..."
This was set up in a dark part of the church and used a mix of black, red, yellow and gold cloths to provide a contrast. Fairy lights were strung across the black cloth and a fire was simulated with battery lights and red and yellow tissue paper. The candle stand was close by.
Would you like to light a candle and think about things we can do to shine light in the darkness?
Would you like to write a prayer on a flame?
Would you like to stick a bright flame on the dark paper?
I wonder if we hide our lights under a bushel?
I wonder how we can shine out in the world?
2 The voice in the wilderness...
"I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness..."
Trays of sand and a desert bag, along with baskets of wooden people were placed on a length of hessian. On the table behind were pictures with reflective questions and wooden praying hands.
Would you like to place one of the people of God in the desert box to represent yourself going into the wilderness?
Would you like to write a prayer on one of the people cut outs?
I wonder how easy it is to be the one who speaks the uncomfortable truth?
I wonder where we hear those crying out God's message today?
I wonder where the wild places are in our world today?
3 Make straight...
"Make straight the way for the Lord"
The chancel was used for this station.
A line of bricks led to the foot of the altar, where the baby Jesus had been placed on a golden cloth.
There were toy roads and bricks for the children to create their own "straight roads."
Would you like to help make a straight path for the Lord?
Would you like to draw or write a prayer or symbol on a stone and place it on the road?
I wonder where this path leads?
4 The Baptist
"I baptise with water, but one is coming after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie..."
The display, which included bowls of water, doves and shimmer stones was set up around the font. In the area under the tower there were cut out footprints and an opportunity to print footprints on a long piece of paper.
Would you like to take a stone and place in the water to remember your baptism, or think about being baptised?
Would you like to think about following in the steps of Jesus and write a prayer on a footprint?
Would you like to make a footprint on the paper?
(We used old sandals pressed into a flat piece of sponge soaked in brown paint and then printed onto a roll of white paper that was unrolled as the line of prints grew.)
I wonder if there is anything you would like to make a new start with?