by Lilly Lewin
I’ve posted this before, but it’s a great practice for Epiphany, January, or even next year post Advent…Looking back at your year and doing some reflection before moving into the New Year. This Reflection/Practice can be done individually, with your family, roommates, small group, youth group, or your entire church community. I originally created this meditation/reflection for a Diocese of Southern Ohio gathering using a created center on each round table of ten people. Then I led the reflection verbally and people responded in silence. It is even more impactful when you invite people to take time to journal from the questions. You can always do a both/and where you lead the reflection and then have a written copy for folks to take home and continue to consider, pray with or journal from in the weeks ahead. We did this as a part of our thiniplaceNASHVILLE gathering last week, and I realized that there were lots more things I needed to be grateful for in 2019 than I’d thought! I sadly had been looking at all the trash on my path and not all the gifts! We each took home a star to remind us to look for the gifts along the way this year and to be thankful for these!
Know that even though it’s the middle of January, there is still time to reflect on last year and prepare for the year ahead with Jesus!
Round Tray, Large Pillar Candle, sand, stones or rocks, trash that reflects your location, ribbons, confetti, small packages, glow in the dark stars: things remind you of celebration. Enough stars for number of participants to take home.
Looking Back and Looking Forward….Look at the Center Piece.
Consider the Smooth Space
The Rough and Rocky Space
A Space filled with Trash
A Space filled with Celebration and Stars
Consider your Journey in the Past year…Consider the path you’ve been walking.
What were the smooth spots ? Take time to thank God for these.
What were the Rocky Spots? Talk to God about them. Did you feel God’s presence or did God feel absent? Tell God your heart.
Were there times when you felt like you were traveling through trash?
Were there people who threw trash on your path?
Take time to talk to God about this. This may be heavy. Feel what you need to feel, then
Allow God to help you begin to forgive.
Whose path did you throw trash on this year?
Allow God to forgive you for this.
What were the gifts of this past year?
What were the celebrations that you can be thankful for?
The People, the Places, the Opportunities…..
Take some time and remember.
Take time to feel the joy and the pleasure of those gifts.
Take time to be grateful.
What about the year ahead? How does your path look?
What things do you need for your Journey in 2020? Take time to consider this.
Know that God is with you in the smooth and in the rough places.
What path are you walking tonight?
Where are you with your walk with Jesus?
Are you following His Star…willing to go where He goes?
Are you stuck in the Palace afraid to leave it?
Are you stuck in old habits afraid you’ll never get out?
Are you willing to leave your comfort zone as the Magi did and go on an Adventure?
Are you walking with Jesus by your side?
Have you even invited Jesus along …is He chasing you?
Are you chasing Him? Have you left Him far behind?
Talk to Jesus about where you are today and where you want to go this New Year.
Take home a star to remind you to watch for the gifts along the way.