Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

January 1999: Journey

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What would you give?

The journey

Include reflections on the journey from Xmas labyrinth. Video extract - the 'trip sequence' from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Meditation 'The Journey' [DAVE]

The Journey [by the Late Late Service, amended by Grace]

( Some relaxation stuff )

Look up, or imagine that you are looking up, to the roof of this building. You know that beyond the roof is the sky and the darkness of a January evening.

Then imagine that you are looking down on your body. What does it look like from above? Imagine its size and its surface. Then begin to move upwards, seeing your body from a greater distance. Move higher and higher. Remember your body within this church building but move upwards so that the church looks smaller, and you begin to see South Ealing as if you were ascending in an aeroplane, and then all of Ealing with bright lines of street lights and then all of London. Climb higher and higher, but without forgetting your body in this place.

And then imagine more and more of the earth's surface lit up by the sun and the moon, its surface is rough and pitted and surrounded by a coloured aura. You go higher. The Earth is now just a blue and white circle and as you go higher you are surrounded by planets and galaxies and shifting patterns of light. The light is strangely close and far away at the same time.

But you have not forgotten about your body left thousands of light years behind on the surface of the earth gently spinning out its time.

And then imagine moving back into the solar system so that you are descending and getting closer to the earth's surface again, as if it is coming up to meet you..the round earth, the outline of the continents, the island of Britain and the buildings of Ealing, the focus becoming more and more detailed. You can see clearly the body that you left behind.

Imagine that this is a journey between two realms... and that it is the journey that Jesus made when he was born as a baby, and it is a journey that God is taking between earth and heaven, crossing the distance, as if there is a ladder with its tip out of sight. And God is reaching down from the cosmos by this ladder. And the foot of the ladder is at your feet. Your body is the place where heaven and earth are meeting. You are the place in between. You are small and located on the ground, but you see things beyond your reach. And in this place God comes to you.

Think again of the sensations in your body as it rests on the ground and imagine that this body is touched by God. It is caressed by angels from heaven. In this body, heaven and earth can meet.

Now imagine God speaks to you and says :

"I am your God.

I am the God of your father and mother, and of their fathers and mothers. I am your God.

I am the God of this earth, its matter and substance. I am your God.

I am the God of Jesus Christ, who came from infinity to humanity and was visited by the wise.

This is a holy and blessed place because I am here."

Songs of pilgrimage


The story of the journey

Reading: Matthew 2:1-13 read from the Message

What draws you to the Christ child ?


Songs of commitment

What gifts will the Christ child accept?


Hand out paper and pencils


the best of what we are and the best of what we have

Yellow light
Intro : Our gifts, our time, our hearts and minds. The things we consider valuable.
Reflection : the things of greatest value to us - 1st section.


our worship

Blue light
Intro: what worship is acceptable - noisy or silent
Reflection: how would you worship a baby ?

Worship songs


our suffering, the world's suffering and His

Red light
Intro: Do we bring the world's suffering ? Have we the right ? Are we close enough to it? Do we bring our pain to Jesus? However insignificant?
Reflection: what suffering will you bring to Jesus ?

Prayer time

Confession [STEVE] This is the version published in Grace: Pocket Liturgies, written and definitely spoken by Mike. Perhaps we did things a bit differently to this order of service on the night!



'So they worked out another route, left the territory without being seen, and returned to their own country'
Intro : Invite people to make a commitment bringing up paper to burn.
Commitment: Offer option of foreheads painted with three coloured stripes.

Final song and blessing


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An Epiphany service. Only one photo, but it shows a frequent arrangement for Grace at that time - muslin screens enclosing the worship space, with back-projection of slides on and through. The screens were hung on washing lines - you can just see the pegs along the top! Entrance through the slight gap where the sheets are not fastened. Everyone is sitting on the carpet or on the kneelers. As usual the central aisle had rows of candles in blue holders to guide people in. See the Pentecost 2000 service for how it looked from inside the screens.

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