A Labyrinth gives you a chance to rest and space to think. Areas are set up around a room with things to read and look at to help focus your thoughts. This Christmas labyrinth was used at the November Activate weekend away, created by Julie Wilkins, Adrienne Leech and a team from Forest Row. It gave visitors the chance to consider Mary’s reaction to the visit from the angel Gabriel. It relates her thoughts to stages we could be going through in our own lives. Areas are set up to look like:–a teenager’s bedroom; a doctor’s waiting room; a camp fire; a banquet and the nativity scene. You might want to adapt and ‘steal’ these ideas to create a labyrinth of your own. Or, you might just enjoy taking the time to read through these thoughts, verses and ideas right now on this website, take a little time out…
Because You’re Worth it!
The Teenager’s Bedroom
Luke 1:26 – God sent the angel Gabriel to a teenager named Mary.
‘Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’
Mary was a teenager when God spoke to her. Imagine how that must have felt.
What did your bedroom look like when you were a teenager?
Was it tidy or messy?
Which posters did you have on your walls?
These are the messages, questions and verses that Julie and Adrienne used in the Labyrinth called – ‘My Space’ at the Activate weekend away. First, we were invited to sit at the busy dressing table of a teenager’s bedroom –
What music did you listen to?
What were you planning to do with your life?
Have you ever sensed that God is trying to get your attention, or calling your name?
Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known,
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?
Have you ever felt that God is there, knocking on the door of your heart?
Revelation 3:20 – ‘Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me.’
God wants to ‘do’ life with us – not leave us struggling on our own. He wants to be a part of your everyday life:- helping; guiding; comforting; reassuring and enjoying you.
Luke 1:30 – ‘You have found favour with God.’
Take a good look at yourself in the mirror.
God says to each one of us that ‘We’re worth it!’
He made you and you are very special to Him.
Is it hard to believe this? Does your life feel in a mess sometimes?
God untangles the muddle of our lives one strand at a time.
Isaiah 43:4 – ‘You are precious and honoured in my sight, and I love you.’
Ephesians 1:4 – ‘For He chose us before the creation of the world.’
Mary was willing to risk losing everything to obey God’s calling and follow His will.
The Waiting Room
Luke 1:29 – ‘Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean’.
Did Mary doubt? Did she wonder if it was all a dream?
Psalm 37:7 – ‘Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.’
Did Abraham wonder where he was going when God told him to set out on a journey?
Micah 7:7 – ‘But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my saviour; my God will hear me.’
Did Joseph doubt when he lay in a pit and then was locked up in prison, and waited over 20 years for his dream to come true?
Psalm 119:123 – ‘My eyes are tired from watching for your saving help, for the deliverance you promised’.
Did Moses doubt when he was still wandering in the wilderness after so many years?
Isaiah 40:31 – ‘But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Did Noah doubt while he built the ark?
Could Mary have said ‘No’?
What would the consequences have been if she had?
The Israelites had been waiting for 100’s of years for the promised Saviour.
If we have been waiting for something for a long time, perhaps 6 months or 6 years, we may feel there is still a long wait ahead. But in reality, we may be on the brink of seeing our dreams fulfilled.
Revelation 3:7 – ‘God opens doors and no one can shut them, He shuts doors and no one can open them.’
Take time to read the words on the waiting room walls.
Matthew 4:2 – Jesus was hungry after fasting for 40 days and nights in the wilderness.
What God is doing in your life today may directly support and prepare you for the vision He will reveal to you soon.
Furthermore, some of what happens while we wait on God’s timing is that He works in the lives of others who will eventually be a part of what He’s doing. God chooses and prepares other people who will complement our dream.
Matthew 1:20 – An angel appeared to Joseph, Mary’s fiancé to explain what was happening.
Have you made an appointment to spend time with God recently?
When could you next spend time talking to Him? He’s always available.
God uses this time of waiting in the wilderness to teach us to trust Him, just a little bit more.
Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen,
and admit to what I mean in you and you in me?
Luke 1:34 – ‘But how can this happen?’
God uses our time of waiting in the wilderness to change us. He shapes and moulds us, and purifies and refines us.
Malachi 3:3 – ‘He will sit as a refiner and purifier; he will purify and refine them like gold and silver.’
When metal is being purified, the blacksmith holds it carefully and never takes his eyes of it.
Jeremiah 18:4 – ‘But the pot He was shaping was marred, so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.’
Pick up some dough and shape and mould it as you read.
If we go through a ‘wilderness’ time, we may feel it will last forever. It may feel very uncomfortable here.
However, every pit has an opening at the top. Every tunnel has a light at the end.
1 Peter 1:6,7 – In all these things rejoice, though now you have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine.
It is hard to see the end of the trial when you are going through it. It is even harder to see the purpose or meaning in it. This is the time to keep doing what matters today.
1 Peter 4:12 – ‘Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.’
1 Peter 5:10 – ‘And God, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.’
In the wilderness, God asks – ‘Will you let me have all of you?’
Romans 6:13 – ‘Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time into God’s way of doing things.’
Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?
How is God changing you?
Can you let God be God and trust the hands of the potter?
All we must do is be available and willing, God does the rest.
Luke chapter 1 verse 37 tells us that ‘Nothing is impossible with God’ or ‘No word from God will ever fail’.
It is God who makes things possible, by His spirit.
• This is not my final destination
• God is with me in here
• The weaker I am, the more powerful God’s strength is in me
• God has chosen me for a specific purpose
• I will feel differently one day
• God delights in me
The Banquet – An Invitation
Luke 1:38 – ‘I am the Lord’s servant, may everything you have said about me come true.’
Will you say ‘Yes’ to God?
Will you say ‘Yes’ to His plans for your life?
John 10:10 – ‘I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.’
You are not only saying ‘Yes’ to the best that God offers in this life…
Psalm 23:5 – ‘You prepare a banquet for me.’
…you are also saying ‘Yes’ to a party being prepared for you in Heaven.
A free lunch? God has set the table and everyone is invited.
When we say yes to God – others may question what we are doing. ‘Joseph took Mary, who was now obviously pregnant…’ Mary knew that this was God’s plan, but others would doubt and mock.
Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me? John Bell
God invites everyone to join His family, by believing in His Son and what He came to earth to do.
Is God whispering to you?
What would you like to whisper to Him?
Write something to God. Tell Him what you’re thinking.
Keep the prayer, if you like, or lay it on the table.
God’s invitation has an RSVP.
So why should we say ‘Yes’?
Because You’re Worth it, God.
The Stable – For God So Loved the World…
Our loving Heavenly Father gave us His Son, baby Jesus, because He loved us so very much.
Enjoy worshipping Him, by resting in His presence.
You may wish to take some bread…and remember why He came.
Sip some wine…know that because He bled and died you are forgiven and accepted by God.
Receive the peace God offers you as His precious child. He adores you.
Take a heart and always remember you are loved by Him.
You are special.