6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born. (Luke 2.6)
The first Sunday of Advent, my church has interactive prayer stations, an opportunity to engage, reflect, and meditate on this period of expectation, waiting, and preparation for the birth of Christ. Below are ideas for interactive prayer stations focusing on centering our hearts on minds on the meaning of Christmas. The interactive prayer stations are meant to be intergenerational. There are also stations designed for ages 2-4. (For more specific instructions on layout, purpose, design, and more ideas, you can view previous posts tagged under “Interactive Prayer Stations.”) You can view pics here.
Interactive Prayer Station #1: Lighting Hope
Materials: Basket, Sand, Tea Light Candles, Greens
Where will I find hope, offer hope,
there are few things more fragile than an embryo of hope given its chance of life only by those who say ‘yes’ to its promise
like the prophets who said ‘yes’ to God’s urging Mary who said ‘yes’ to an angel and Joseph who said ‘yes’ to his Mary
like the people of faith through all of time who have said ‘yes’ to the promise of love and as we sit by the side of our wall
- whatever that wall might be -
surrounded by the rubble and rubbish of broken dreams and lives what faith does it take to imagine an embryo of hope being brought to life here?
What ‘yes’ are you able to say for it to be born in our world?
(- quote by Cheryl Lawrie)
Feel free to light a candle, set it in the sand, as a sign of the hope you desire to offer another this season – picture how that light of hope will be noticed by the other.
Reflect on the significance of this now . . . invite God to broaden your faith journey.
Interactive Prayer Station #2: Offering Safety
On the small piece of paper, you’re invited to write a prayer for someone far away whose needs desperately is waiting to know God’s safety; what it smells like, feels like, tastes like, warms like, comforts like. Use both sides if you wish, then insert it into the plastic cover, to cover in your wallet as a daily prayer reminder in this advent-waiting season.
take time to let this settle into you now . . . invite God to enhance your faith journey.
Interactive Prayer Station #3: Holding Justice
Materials: Rocks, Greens
Slowly and thoughtfully declare to yourself:
“The stone I hold is as old as me and, and older; as old as my name, my language, my culture, and older; as old as my race, as old as the human race, and older; as old as the soil, as old as the sea, and older; as old as the sun, moon, and stars . . . but younger than God. For God made this stone, made and meant its color, its core, its journey from below to above, and had earth never revealed it, and never admired it, it would still bear witness to God’s deep intention to make the world, mean the world, want the world, wean the world; and one day walk the world and hold in his hand what I now hold in mine.
The justice I hold is as old as me, and older; as old as my name, my language, my culture, and older; as old as my race, as old as the human race, and older; it has spoken but has not been heard; it has been given, yet not received; held back, withheld and abused; rejected, edged out of the world onto a cross, into a tomb, and a stone was stationed to keep the dead away from the living, but the stone was rolled away.
Once cold to the touch, the stone is now warm from my grasp, as justice held tight, warms to my grip, becomes part of me, made from the beginning, this justice is made and meant in its color, its core, its journey from below to above, and had earth never revealed it, and never admired it, it would still bear witness to God’s deep intention to make the world, mean the world, want the world, wean the world; and one day walk the world and hold in his hand what I now hold in mine.”
- adapted from a John Bell book
Interactive Prayer Stations for Kids:
Activity one: A Lamb Wait for Jesus – make a lamb to hang on your tree, she will gently wait for Jesus to come, like you. Glue the tail and the wool onto the lamb, make the eyes with white-out, tie onthe bell and ribbon to hang on the tree.
Materials: Black Paper Lamb, White Fur Material, Red Ribbons, Bells, White-out Pens, Yarn, Hole Punch Activity two: A Manger Get Ready for Jesus – make a soft and warm bed for Jesus, take it home to remind you to get ready for Jesus – fold paper, use paper clips to secure the ends, glue the four legs on, fill with “grass” and cover with a “blanket.”
Materials: Brown Paper slit at the ends, Paper Clips, Filler (cotton, hay, etc.), Red Material, Craft Sticks, Glue
Activity three: A Star Look for Jesus – make a star in the sky that will help you look for Jesus – cut out some pictures to color, glue them to the star and hang on black yarn hanging down over the manger scene.
Materials: Scissors, Markers, Pictures of different Nativity Scenes, a Nativity Set, Black Yarn, Ornament Hooks, Gold Stars