22nd November 2021 - Wesley Memorial Christmas Journey
This week I visited Epworth, a great place to start my journeys although I'm using my little yellow car not a horse like Mr Wesley. Wesley Memorial Church were just finishing setting up ready for their Christmas Journey. Children from the local primary schools will visit the church to journey through and experience the first Christmas.
They start in the church hall hearing the story of creation, how sin came into the world and that God had a rescue plan. Then they enter the first tent where they meet Mary and hear her excitement at being engaged. Suddenly, with a burst of the Alleluia Chorus, Gabriel bursts in and tells Mary she's to be the mother of God's son. Mary goes to tell her mum and the youngsters don headscarves for the next tent.
Here they meet shepherds watching their flocks but again the conversation is interrupted by Gabriel - this time to tell the shepherds about the baby who's just been born.
Next the children move on to the stable where the animals, including a snobbish sheep and a monosyllabic donkey, tell them their account.
After that it's time to encounter the wise men who are about to leave on their journey and greet the youngsters as fellow searchers.
Finally, they return to the present time and to a Godly Play session "God's Rescue Plan" which helps them to relate the first Christmas to their everyday lives.
The whole experience is a joy for the young travellers and also for the actors and volunteers who feel it has helped bring the church to life. It makes Christmas come alive for everyone. Last time when Mary was going to tell her parents that she was pregnant one youngster commented, "That's awkward!"