Advent Calendar – Day 18

Welcome to Advent…Day 18
These short meditations can be done alone, with a partner, or with the whole family.
My suggestion is evening time; light a candle, play the music suggested below,

Have a little treat, it’s an Advent Calendar, after all!
(Maybe hide some chocolate around the house each day, or hang it from the ceiling?)
And read the material aloud together…
There’s quite a lot here. You dont need to do it all; either follow the story and the blessings, or simply enjoy the poems.
Make it a special moment, ten minutes of togetherness in this busy season.

Three Kings, Katherine Kingdon, Fatbellypots (via City Arts, Newbury)

Music Suggestion

from Spotify playlist ‘Advent Meditations’

Three Magi see a new star
For younger families,
Far away from the story we have heard, three scholars saw a new star in the sky. They believed it was a sign for a new special king, and so decided to make the long journey to come and see the King – following the star.

When they arrived in Israel they asked all around “where can we find the newborn King?”, everyone was shocked to hear this question! Soon, word got back King Herod who was also shocked. Herod was a bad man and was very jealous and worried when he heard about a newborn King from God. He wanted to remain King!

He asked his scholars if they new where ‘such a king’ could be found – had any prophecies given a clue? “Yes” they said, “the prophet Micah said a new King would be born in Bethlehem.”

For older readers

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah territory— this was during Herod’s kingship—a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, “Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.”

When word of their inquiry got to Herod, he was terrified—and not Herod alone, but most of Jerusalem as well. Herod lost no time. He gathered all the high priests and religion scholars in the city together and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”

They told him, “Bethlehem, Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly:

“It’s you, Bethlehem, in Judah’s land,
    no longer bringing up the rear.
From you will come the leader
    who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel.”

A PoemEpiphany by Judith Bingham

Deep midwinter,
the dark centre of the year,
Wake, O earth, awake,
Out on the hills a star appears,
Here lies the way for pilgrim kings,
Three magi on an ancient path,
Black hours begin their journeyings.

Their star has risen in our hearts,
Empty thrones, abandoned fears,
Out on the hills their journey starts,
In dazzling darkness God appears.

These are the words to a stunning Choral piece by Judith Bingham. You can find it here.

Reflection and Blessing for you and your loved ones
Shrouded in legend andf mystery, The Kings or Magicians, (no-one really knows!) saw a star, decided to pack up everything and travel possibly many hundreds of miles. Nomads at that time would not have travelled alone, but brought family and servants with them.. it would have been a large caravan.

What’s stunning is that this is a journey towards an unknown desitnation, they knew they were following a sign, had read ancient texts, they felt the nudge of history. But i wonder what they expected to find.

I wonder if you have ever made a journey; physical, emotional, intellectual where you have not know the outcome?
If so, were you surprised, disspointed or enriched by what you discovered?

Holy God, the star led the magi into a jountey of uncertainty and hope. Help us to be inspired to jouney in hope, even in uncertain times.
May the LOVE that inspired the Magi to make an uncertain pilgrimage, be within you always.  Amen

The Food Bank

West Berks Foodbank Reverse Advent Calendar
Day 18 – tinned custard

Please note – the Food Bank have requested that all food donations come to them by the 18th December.
The full list is on the link above.