Week One: Location
Here are this week’s Pilgrim Steps: real practices you can do on your own or with friends or family as you begin your journey toward Christmas.
Lighting the first Advent Candle – a Family Advent Activity
There is something comforting about the flame of a candle in the darkness of winter.
If you have an Advent Candle wreath, get it out and light the first candle at some point each day during this week. If you do not have an Advent wreath, use any candle you can light, or just place one tealight in a dish. As you light your candle, read John 8:12, “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.
Kids Activity – Obstacle Course
This week we are talking about how Jesus is the light of the world, John 8:12. Here is a fun way to demonstrate this to your kids. Ask your child to do something they do every day, like brush their teeth or make their bed, but turn off all the lights and have them complete this is the dark. Then have them try it again with the lights on. If you want to make this activity more fun build an obstacle course (preferably with pillows and soft items) have your child try to try it in the dark first, then again with all the lights on. Below are some questions to ask after.
- Was it harder to do in the dark or with the lights on?
- Do you think it is harder to live in darkness or in light?
- Why do you think that Jesus is like a light in our lives?
- How have you seen Jesus be a light in your life?
I also recommend sharing with your child your answers to these questions and taking time to pray as a family.
Journey into our Community – Praying for our Community
As Christians, we are called to be “salt and light” (Matthew 5:13-16) in our world. One way you can be that light is to pray for those people and institutions who teach and govern us. This week, consider driving to a government building, parking, and praying for the people in that that building. Or consider praying for your local school: the teachers and administrators who are trying to educate their students in the craziness of COVID. Use your imagination. For whom is God inviting you to pray? If possible, drive to that location with those in your household or “bubble” and pray out loud together in your car.
This week take some time to notice where you are on your life journey. None of us know the date or time when God will call us home. But before that final holy pilgrimage, God invites us to notice where we are, how we got here, and who helped us along the way? In her description of her Camino pilgrimage, Julia Carpenter says she learned to trust that God would “fill me with His Spirit as He sees fit along this journey. All I need to have is the willingness to open myself to Him, look for Him along my way, practice gratitude, and develop habits that will make me conscious of Him every step along the way.”