The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will take place around Bedworth Saturday 18th – Sunday 26th January:

The locations are as follows

Sat 18th – The Little Chapel 10:30am

Mon 20th – The Old Meeting 9:30am

Tues 21st – All Saints 9:30am

Weds 22nd – St Giles 9:30am

Thurs 23rd – Salvation Army 10am

Friday 24th – Methodist 12:30pm

Sunday 26th – Churches Together Service for Christian Unity at Bedworth Baptist 6pm

 

How can you find and follow God in your everyday life as we begin 2020?

Receive our Everyday Faith reflections, starting on Sunday 12 January using the button below.

Just check the Everyday Faith box and click the Update Profile button, to save your changes when the webpage loads. 
Receive our Everyday Faith daily reflections emails
Our daily lives are often very full. Full of things to do. Full of meetings and deadlines. Full of places to be. Full of people to meet.

For some, they may be full of time on our hands. Full of hopes we would like to fulfil. Full of things we don’t want to face. Where is God during our daily lives? How do we find God in fullness, in the full-ness of everyday life?

Join us for Everyday Faith, a Church of England campaign starting on Sunday 12 January 2020 (Plough Sunday).  You will receive 21 days of reflections and prayers to help you find and follow God in everyday life – delivered straight to your inbox.

Everyday Faith invites you on a journey of living faithfully, hopefully and lovingly as a Christian in the 21st century.

It includes real life stories of how others have found God at work in their lives, and a simple pattern of prayer to help you pause and be aware of God.

I encourage you to take time for the three weeks of this brilliantly written material to allow Gods Holy Spirit to inspire, equip and excite you to live your everyday life for him.

Archbishop Justin Welby

Receive our Everyday Faith daily reflections emails


If you'd prefer to follow along with these everyday reflections using a physical booklet, you can order them from Church House Publishing

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Would you like to find and follow God in your everyday life in 2020?

How can you find and follow God in your everyday life as we begin 2020?

Receive our Everyday Faith reflections, starting on Sunday 12 January using the button below.

Just check the Everyday Faith box and click the Update Profile button, to save your changes when the webpage loads. 
Receive our Everyday Faith daily reflections emails
Our daily lives are often very full. Full of things to do. Full of meetings and deadlines. Full of places to be. Full of people to meet.

For some, they may be full of time on our hands. Full of hopes we would like to fulfil. Full of things we don’t want to face. Where is God during our daily lives? How do we find God in fullness, in the full-ness of everyday life?

Join us for Everyday Faith, a Church of England campaign starting on Sunday 12 January 2020 (Plough Sunday).  You will receive 21 days of reflections and prayers to help you find and follow God in everyday life – delivered straight to your inbox.

Everyday Faith invites you on a journey of living faithfully, hopefully and lovingly as a Christian in the 21st century.

It includes real life stories of how others have found God at work in their lives, and a simple pattern of prayer to help you pause and be aware of God.

I encourage you to take time for the three weeks of this brilliantly written material to allow Gods Holy Spirit to inspire, equip and excite you to live your everyday life for him.

Archbishop Justin Welby

Receive our Everyday Faith daily reflections emails


If you'd prefer to follow along with these everyday reflections using a physical booklet, you can order them from Church House Publishing

Find out more about Everyday Faith on our website
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Mon, 06 Jan 2020 17:00:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar2019-survey https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar2019-survey

What did you think of the #FollowTheStar Advent and Christmas campaign?

Thank you for joining in with our #FollowTheStar Advent and Christmas journey. We hope it helped to bring you closer to God at this special moment of the year.
We'd really appreciate your feedback on how you found the reflections and wider campaign. Please could you take two minutes to fill in this short survey? This will help us with our future work.
Fill out our survey

Wishing you a happy and peaceful 2020

 
Receive our Everyday Faith reflections, starting on Sunday 12 January by updating your preferences here.
 
Just check the Everyday Faith box at the link above.
 
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What did you think of the #FollowTheStar Advent and Christmas campaign?

Thank you for joining in with our #FollowTheStar Advent and Christmas journey. We hope it helped to bring you closer to God at this special moment of the year.
We'd really appreciate your feedback on how you found the reflections and wider campaign. Please could you take two minutes to fill in this short survey? This will help us with our future work.
Fill out our survey

Wishing you a happy and peaceful 2020

 
Receive our Everyday Faith reflections, starting on Sunday 12 January by updating your preferences here.
 
Just check the Everyday Faith box at the link above.
 
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Sun, 05 Jan 2020 17:00:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-twelve https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-twelve

#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day twelve

Listen to today's reflection through the app
Often, the best gifts that we have ever received are the small and personal ones, handmade with love and effort, but costing very little money.

9 ‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

At last the wise men reach their journey’s end and lay their gifts before the Christ child. They have travelled a great distance from where they started, and they have experienced much along the road. In some ways, though, this is only the beginning.

Sometimes when we find what we think we’re looking for, we realize that there is so much more to discover, so many more questions to ask. God understands our curiosity and he welcomes it. God wants us to wonder. God wants us to search. And when we do, he will not hide from us. Just as the star shines brightly to light the way. God’s love beckons us forward, inviting us to know him more, step by step by step.
Look at the questions you asked at the beginning of this 12-day journey.
Have you found any answers? Is there anything you are still searching for?
God of wonder, help us to keep searching, keep asking and keep discovering as we continue on our journey to you. Amen.
 

View today's family craft activity

 
Share this #FollowTheStar reflection with your family and friends
 
Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day twelve

Listen to today's reflection through the app
Often, the best gifts that we have ever received are the small and personal ones, handmade with love and effort, but costing very little money.

9 ‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

At last the wise men reach their journey’s end and lay their gifts before the Christ child. They have travelled a great distance from where they started, and they have experienced much along the road. In some ways, though, this is only the beginning.

Sometimes when we find what we think we’re looking for, we realize that there is so much more to discover, so many more questions to ask. God understands our curiosity and he welcomes it. God wants us to wonder. God wants us to search. And when we do, he will not hide from us. Just as the star shines brightly to light the way. God’s love beckons us forward, inviting us to know him more, step by step by step.
Look at the questions you asked at the beginning of this 12-day journey.
Have you found any answers? Is there anything you are still searching for?
God of wonder, help us to keep searching, keep asking and keep discovering as we continue on our journey to you. Amen.
 

View today's family craft activity

 
Share this #FollowTheStar reflection with your family and friends
 
Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Sun, 05 Jan 2020 06:30:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-eleven https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-eleven

#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day eleven

Listen to today's reflection through the app
Often, the best gifts that we have ever received are the small and personal ones, handmade with love and effort, but costing very little money.

7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

The wise men are carrying precious gifts with them on their journey: gifts that will speak into the story of Jesus’ life. Gold is a gift of richness, fit for a king. Myrrh is a precious oil, used to anoint the dead, reminding us of the death Jesus will endure on the cross. Frankincense is an incense used in worship, fitting for a holy child.

But treasures are not always physical. Gifts cannot always be touched. Each of us has gifts and talents within us and each of us can make an offering of our own. Our gifts are part of our own story in our work, our homes and our communities. Our gifts show who we are and what we bring to the world around us.
What gifts do you have that you could offer to your friends, your family, your church or your community?
Write down one gift you can offer and who you will offer it to.
Generous God, help us to use our gifts in an open-hearted way so that others will know that they are loved and valued. Amen.
 

View today's family craft activity

 
Listen to today's reflection through the app
 
Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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]]-->

 

#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day eleven

Listen to today's reflection through the app
Often, the best gifts that we have ever received are the small and personal ones, handmade with love and effort, but costing very little money.

7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

The wise men are carrying precious gifts with them on their journey: gifts that will speak into the story of Jesus’ life. Gold is a gift of richness, fit for a king. Myrrh is a precious oil, used to anoint the dead, reminding us of the death Jesus will endure on the cross. Frankincense is an incense used in worship, fitting for a holy child.

But treasures are not always physical. Gifts cannot always be touched. Each of us has gifts and talents within us and each of us can make an offering of our own. Our gifts are part of our own story in our work, our homes and our communities. Our gifts show who we are and what we bring to the world around us.
What gifts do you have that you could offer to your friends, your family, your church or your community?
Write down one gift you can offer and who you will offer it to.
Generous God, help us to use our gifts in an open-hearted way so that others will know that they are loved and valued. Amen.
 

View today's family craft activity

 
Listen to today's reflection through the app
 
Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Sat, 04 Jan 2020 06:30:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-ten https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-ten

#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day ten

Listen to today's reflection through the app
In an age of satnav and internet maps, it’s rare that we need to stop and ask someone for directions. Sometimes, though, a person is exactly what we need to guide the way.

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’ 13 Then the Pharisees said to him, ‘You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.’ 14 Jesus answered, ‘Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgement is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.

Light reveals the dangers covered by darkness. In the light, secrets are revealed and fears are banished. In the light we can see the truth because there is no place to hide. In the light we see beauty in its fullness.

The star’s light has been leading the wise men towards the child. When this child grows up, he will call himself the ‘light of the world.’ He will be the living embodiment of light. He will be the one who highlights dangers, banishes fears, reveals beauty and shows the truth. Jesus will tell us that we no longer have to be afraid, we no longer need to walk in darkness. Jesus will open our eyes to what life can be.
What are you trying to understand at the moment? What do you need to see more clearly?
Light a candle and ask Jesus to illuminate the situation.
Loving God, show us what is hidden, chase away our fears and give us courage when we are afraid. Amen.
 

View today's family craft activity

 
Listen to today's reflection through the app
 
Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day ten

Listen to today's reflection through the app
In an age of satnav and internet maps, it’s rare that we need to stop and ask someone for directions. Sometimes, though, a person is exactly what we need to guide the way.

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’ 13 Then the Pharisees said to him, ‘You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.’ 14 Jesus answered, ‘Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgement is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.

Light reveals the dangers covered by darkness. In the light, secrets are revealed and fears are banished. In the light we can see the truth because there is no place to hide. In the light we see beauty in its fullness.

The star’s light has been leading the wise men towards the child. When this child grows up, he will call himself the ‘light of the world.’ He will be the living embodiment of light. He will be the one who highlights dangers, banishes fears, reveals beauty and shows the truth. Jesus will tell us that we no longer have to be afraid, we no longer need to walk in darkness. Jesus will open our eyes to what life can be.
What are you trying to understand at the moment? What do you need to see more clearly?
Light a candle and ask Jesus to illuminate the situation.
Loving God, show us what is hidden, chase away our fears and give us courage when we are afraid. Amen.
 

View today's family craft activity

 
Listen to today's reflection through the app
 
Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Fri, 03 Jan 2020 06:30:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-nine https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-nine

#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day nine

Listen to today's reflection through the app
In an age of satnav and internet maps, it’s rare that we need to stop and ask someone for directions. Sometimes, though, a person is exactly what we need to guide the way.

1 ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ 5 Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ 6 Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’

Stars have been used as navigation tools since ancient times, lighting the sky and showing the way. Even today, the North Star is a guide for wandering nighttime explorers, giving an unwavering direction in the darkness. The wise men are looking up to their own star for guidance and, as it moves, they are assured of the path they follow.

In life, the need for a guide through unfamiliar territory and situations is often very real, whoever and wherever we are. We want the reassurance that we are walking the right way. The child born in Bethlehem, under the sign of the star, will grow to be a guide to millions across the world. He will light the path that leads the way to God.
Where do you need direction in life?
Download a finger labyrinth and follow the pathway with your finger. Ask God to give you the guidance you need.
Loving God, show us the way when we are lost and need direction. Guide us as we journey forward. Amen.
 

View today's family craft activity

 
Listen to today's reflection through the app
 
Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day nine

Listen to today's reflection through the app
In an age of satnav and internet maps, it’s rare that we need to stop and ask someone for directions. Sometimes, though, a person is exactly what we need to guide the way.

1 ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ 5 Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ 6 Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’

Stars have been used as navigation tools since ancient times, lighting the sky and showing the way. Even today, the North Star is a guide for wandering nighttime explorers, giving an unwavering direction in the darkness. The wise men are looking up to their own star for guidance and, as it moves, they are assured of the path they follow.

In life, the need for a guide through unfamiliar territory and situations is often very real, whoever and wherever we are. We want the reassurance that we are walking the right way. The child born in Bethlehem, under the sign of the star, will grow to be a guide to millions across the world. He will light the path that leads the way to God.
Where do you need direction in life?
Download a finger labyrinth and follow the pathway with your finger. Ask God to give you the guidance you need.
Loving God, show us the way when we are lost and need direction. Guide us as we journey forward. Amen.
 

View today's family craft activity

 
Listen to today's reflection through the app
 
Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 06:30:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-eight https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-eight

#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day eight

Listen to today's reflection through the app
Some journeys can be difficult, or even dangerous. Knowing that there is someone along for the ride with you, to help you and to be beside you can really make a difference.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
    he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long.

For many people, travelling companions are an essential part of any journey. They are there to share the ups and downs, the joyful moments and the tougher times. We don’t know exactly how many wise men are following the star, but we know that there is more than one of them along for the ride! The journey is a long one and there are obstacles to meet on the way, including a jealous and two-faced king.

As Herod plots murder, the wise men discover that they have an unexpected traveller alongside them. God warns them in a dream not to go back to Herod when they have found the child. Through adventure and through danger, God is with the wise men and will make sure they stay on the right path.
Who is with you on your journey?
Think of someone who supports or cares for you and send them a message or phone them to say thank you.
Thank you, God, that wherever we go and whatever we face you are with us. Keep us safe on our journey through life. Amen.
 

View today's family craft activity

 
Listen to today's reflection through the app
 
Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day eight

Listen to today's reflection through the app
Some journeys can be difficult, or even dangerous. Knowing that there is someone along for the ride with you, to help you and to be beside you can really make a difference.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
    he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long.

For many people, travelling companions are an essential part of any journey. They are there to share the ups and downs, the joyful moments and the tougher times. We don’t know exactly how many wise men are following the star, but we know that there is more than one of them along for the ride! The journey is a long one and there are obstacles to meet on the way, including a jealous and two-faced king.

As Herod plots murder, the wise men discover that they have an unexpected traveller alongside them. God warns them in a dream not to go back to Herod when they have found the child. Through adventure and through danger, God is with the wise men and will make sure they stay on the right path.
Who is with you on your journey?
Think of someone who supports or cares for you and send them a message or phone them to say thank you.
Thank you, God, that wherever we go and whatever we face you are with us. Keep us safe on our journey through life. Amen.
 

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Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Wed, 01 Jan 2020 06:30:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-seven https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-seven

#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day seven

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New Year’s resolutions give us hope and direction, but keeping them is not always easy. If we’re not careful, we can find ourselves quickly getting off track.

18 Do not remember the former things,
    or consider the things of old.
19 I am about to do a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.
20 The wild animals will honour me,
    the jackals and the ostriches;
for I give water in the wilderness,
    rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
21     the people whom I formed for myself
so that they might declare my praise.

God is doing something new. God has sent his Son to bring hope and light and life to a world where his people are oppressed and kept down. The wise men sense this exciting “newness” and want to be part of it. They follow the lead of the star, wherever it takes them, because they have committed themselves to finding the new king. They have a hope that leads them on, and they show perseverance when the journey takes time and effort.

At this time of year, we also experience this sense of hope and “newness”. Unfortunately, research suggests that less than a quarter of us who make New Year’s resolutions will actually keep them. While there’s something attractive about taking new directions in life, it takes courage to stick to the course.
Where do you want to go this year? What hope or desire is leading you?
Write down a New Year’s resolution you want to try to keep.
Father God, lead us towards the new things you want in our lives. Help us to keep going when the way gets hard. Amen.
 

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Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day seven

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New Year’s resolutions give us hope and direction, but keeping them is not always easy. If we’re not careful, we can find ourselves quickly getting off track.

18 Do not remember the former things,
    or consider the things of old.
19 I am about to do a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.
20 The wild animals will honour me,
    the jackals and the ostriches;
for I give water in the wilderness,
    rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
21     the people whom I formed for myself
so that they might declare my praise.

God is doing something new. God has sent his Son to bring hope and light and life to a world where his people are oppressed and kept down. The wise men sense this exciting “newness” and want to be part of it. They follow the lead of the star, wherever it takes them, because they have committed themselves to finding the new king. They have a hope that leads them on, and they show perseverance when the journey takes time and effort.

At this time of year, we also experience this sense of hope and “newness”. Unfortunately, research suggests that less than a quarter of us who make New Year’s resolutions will actually keep them. While there’s something attractive about taking new directions in life, it takes courage to stick to the course.
Where do you want to go this year? What hope or desire is leading you?
Write down a New Year’s resolution you want to try to keep.
Father God, lead us towards the new things you want in our lives. Help us to keep going when the way gets hard. Amen.
 

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Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Tue, 31 Dec 2019 06:30:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-six https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-six

#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day six

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It's sometimes hard to name our own best qualities. Often, it’s easier for those around us to see what brightness we bring to the world.

13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15     My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
    all the days that were formed for me,
    when none of them as yet existed.

Even now, no one knows for sure what the Star of Bethlehem actually was. Some say it was a comet. Some say it was the light that comes from a new star being born. Whatever the truth is, we do know that there was something out of the ordinary about what the wise men saw. Just like this special star, God has made each one of us uniquely and wonderfully.

We are one of a kind too. God knows us fully and, like the star, has given us our own distinctive shining qualities to help to make the world around us a brighter place: compassion, love, an infectious sense of joy, peace, patience, kindness, loyalty, a quest for fairness.

What are your shining qualities? What brightness do you bring and how will you shine today?
Use a whiteboard marker to write your shining qualities on a mirror.
When you look in the mirror, remember that God made you in a wonderful way to bring brightness to the world.
Lord Jesus, help me to use what you have given me to make the world a brighter place today. Amen.
 

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Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day six

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It's sometimes hard to name our own best qualities. Often, it’s easier for those around us to see what brightness we bring to the world.

13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15     My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
    all the days that were formed for me,
    when none of them as yet existed.

Even now, no one knows for sure what the Star of Bethlehem actually was. Some say it was a comet. Some say it was the light that comes from a new star being born. Whatever the truth is, we do know that there was something out of the ordinary about what the wise men saw. Just like this special star, God has made each one of us uniquely and wonderfully.

We are one of a kind too. God knows us fully and, like the star, has given us our own distinctive shining qualities to help to make the world around us a brighter place: compassion, love, an infectious sense of joy, peace, patience, kindness, loyalty, a quest for fairness.

What are your shining qualities? What brightness do you bring and how will you shine today?
Use a whiteboard marker to write your shining qualities on a mirror.
When you look in the mirror, remember that God made you in a wonderful way to bring brightness to the world.
Lord Jesus, help me to use what you have given me to make the world a brighter place today. Amen.
 

View today's family craft activity

 
Listen to today's reflection through the app
 
Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Mon, 30 Dec 2019 06:30:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-five https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-five

#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day five

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Whatever our definition of beauty, we can probably agree that if something is beautiful it ‘sticks out’ from what is around it. We see it or sense it, and we find it hard to resist.

1 The heavens are telling the glory of God;
    and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours forth speech,
    and night to night declares knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words;
    their voice is not heard;
4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.

In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
    and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them;
    and nothing is hidden from its heat.

Everyone’s definition of beauty is different. Artists paint it. Musicians compose music that somehow captures it. Hearts and emotions respond to it. For some it is about what we see on the outside. For others it is about an experience that brings joy.

Whatever beauty is, it is captivating, and the wise men cannot resist the natural beauty they see in the night sky. They are drawn to the star, the work of God’s hand, and they have to follow. They have to find out more. The outward beauty and mystery of the star is about to lead them to the most beautiful gift they could ever imagine: a child who will light up the whole world.
Take a photo of something beautiful you see today.
Share it via message or social media and tell people about the beauty you’ve seen.
God of beauty, thank you for all that you have created. Help us to celebrate the special things we see today. Amen.
 

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Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day five

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Whatever our definition of beauty, we can probably agree that if something is beautiful it ‘sticks out’ from what is around it. We see it or sense it, and we find it hard to resist.

1 The heavens are telling the glory of God;
    and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours forth speech,
    and night to night declares knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words;
    their voice is not heard;
4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.

In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
    and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them;
    and nothing is hidden from its heat.

Everyone’s definition of beauty is different. Artists paint it. Musicians compose music that somehow captures it. Hearts and emotions respond to it. For some it is about what we see on the outside. For others it is about an experience that brings joy.

Whatever beauty is, it is captivating, and the wise men cannot resist the natural beauty they see in the night sky. They are drawn to the star, the work of God’s hand, and they have to follow. They have to find out more. The outward beauty and mystery of the star is about to lead them to the most beautiful gift they could ever imagine: a child who will light up the whole world.
Take a photo of something beautiful you see today.
Share it via message or social media and tell people about the beauty you’ve seen.
God of beauty, thank you for all that you have created. Help us to celebrate the special things we see today. Amen.
 

View today's family craft activity

 
Listen to today's reflection through the app
 
Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Sun, 29 Dec 2019 06:30:00 +0000

 

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Often, the best gifts that we have ever received are the small and personal ones, handmade with love and effort, but costing very little money.

9 ‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

At last the wise men reach their journey’s end and lay their gifts before the Christ child. They have travelled a great distance from where they started, and they have experienced much along the road. In some ways, though, this is only the beginning.

Sometimes when we find what we think we’re looking for, we realize that there is so much more to discover, so many more questions to ask. God understands our curiosity and he welcomes it. God wants us to wonder. God wants us to search. And when we do, he will not hide from us. Just as the star shines brightly to light the way. God’s love beckons us forward, inviting us to know him more, step by step by step.
Look at the questions you asked at the beginning of this 12-day journey.
Have you found any answers? Is there anything you are still searching for?
God of wonder, help us to keep searching, keep asking and keep discovering as we continue on our journey to you. Amen.
 

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Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Listen to today's reflection through the app
Often, the best gifts that we have ever received are the small and personal ones, handmade with love and effort, but costing very little money.

7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

The wise men are carrying precious gifts with them on their journey: gifts that will speak into the story of Jesus’ life. Gold is a gift of richness, fit for a king. Myrrh is a precious oil, used to anoint the dead, reminding us of the death Jesus will endure on the cross. Frankincense is an incense used in worship, fitting for a holy child.

But treasures are not always physical. Gifts cannot always be touched. Each of us has gifts and talents within us and each of us can make an offering of our own. Our gifts are part of our own story in our work, our homes and our communities. Our gifts show who we are and what we bring to the world around us.
What gifts do you have that you could offer to your friends, your family, your church or your community?
Write down one gift you can offer and who you will offer it to.
Generous God, help us to use our gifts in an open-hearted way so that others will know that they are loved and valued. Amen.
 

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Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day eleven

 

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Often, the best gifts that we have ever received are the small and personal ones, handmade with love and effort, but costing very little money.

7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

The wise men are carrying precious gifts with them on their journey: gifts that will speak into the story of Jesus’ life. Gold is a gift of richness, fit for a king. Myrrh is a precious oil, used to anoint the dead, reminding us of the death Jesus will endure on the cross. Frankincense is an incense used in worship, fitting for a holy child.

But treasures are not always physical. Gifts cannot always be touched. Each of us has gifts and talents within us and each of us can make an offering of our own. Our gifts are part of our own story in our work, our homes and our communities. Our gifts show who we are and what we bring to the world around us.
What gifts do you have that you could offer to your friends, your family, your church or your community?
Write down one gift you can offer and who you will offer it to.
Generous God, help us to use our gifts in an open-hearted way so that others will know that they are loved and valued. Amen.
 

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Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Sat, 04 Jan 2020 06:30:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-ten https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-ten

#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day ten

 

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In an age of satnav and internet maps, it’s rare that we need to stop and ask someone for directions. Sometimes, though, a person is exactly what we need to guide the way.

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’ 13 Then the Pharisees said to him, ‘You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.’ 14 Jesus answered, ‘Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgement is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.

Light reveals the dangers covered by darkness. In the light, secrets are revealed and fears are banished. In the light we can see the truth because there is no place to hide. In the light we see beauty in its fullness.

The star’s light has been leading the wise men towards the child. When this child grows up, he will call himself the ‘light of the world.’ He will be the living embodiment of light. He will be the one who highlights dangers, banishes fears, reveals beauty and shows the truth. Jesus will tell us that we no longer have to be afraid, we no longer need to walk in darkness. Jesus will open our eyes to what life can be.
What are you trying to understand at the moment? What do you need to see more clearly?
Light a candle and ask Jesus to illuminate the situation.
Loving God, show us what is hidden, chase away our fears and give us courage when we are afraid. Amen.
 

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Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day ten

 

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In an age of satnav and internet maps, it’s rare that we need to stop and ask someone for directions. Sometimes, though, a person is exactly what we need to guide the way.