1: Inward Journey
You are on a journey, a journey towards the light that is God.
A journey towards the centre of the labyrinth. And out again.
A journey towards God. And out again.
A journey of receiving...and then giving.
Walk with expectancy.
As you journey, reflect on what you see, hear, think. Expect to discover the wonderful, the fantastic.
Open your eyes wide, use your senses - this is no senseless journey.
Breathe deeply. Relax. Don't rush; savour the moment.
Be aware of others - we are travelling together. And focus on moving Godwards.
As you move towards the centre of the labyrinth confess and let go of things that hinder your relationship with God.
Shed images or projections of yourself so that you can be real with God.
Let go of what other people think you should be, their expectations of you, their projections.
As you journey unmask yourself, peel away the layers - grow by subtraction.
Prepare your inner self - the you of you - to meet with God.
At the beginning of time the earth was in darkness; and we are in darkness.
But we shall move towards the warmth and nourishment that is God, our life source.
God spoke the word, and the Word was God.
And there was light.
God created and created and keeps on creating.
God sees that it is good.
God labours to bring life; and gives birth to abundance.
It is good.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word was with God in the beginning. Through the Word all things were made; without the Word nothing was made that has been made. In the Word was life and that life was the light of men and women. The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not understood it.
The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood...
Full of grace and truth...
The world that was in darkness has seen a great light - heralded by a birth-star in the dark night sky in Bethlehem. Just as the wise men journeyed onwards towards God by following the star, so we ask you to journey, to press on toward the light of life.
Our task is seldom easy; after all, we see through a glass dimly. But we have seen - maybe just glimpsed - the light, and tonight we travel towards the centre of the labyrinth as a symbol that we are going after the light of God.
As a seed grows towards the light, allow yourself to do the same. Trust the Creator God with your whole self. Acknowledge who you are, and who you are becoming. Show your amazing colours. Stand tall.
On a journey, we sometimes find ourselves on the open road; plain cruising. Sometimes we have to navigate terrible junctions. Sometimes we are held up. Sometimes the road is wide and clear. And sometimes it narrows, almost frighteningly. Sometimes our travelling companions are keeping up with us. Sometimes they have gone on ahead and left us. Sometimes it is they who lag behind.
Who are your travelling companions? How much do you value them? What are you like to travel with? When the road gets rough and steep...will you be there to support your friends, your family, those you worship with?
Have you stopped to see how far you have come, recently? Have you encouraged each other to press on? As you journey through the labyrinth, resolve to encourage those you travel with in faith and life.
And remember the beautiful, strange paradox of our faith. We search after God, we travel towards God, as pilgrims. And yet God, too, is with us. As a guide. And as a traveller. God hasn't promised an easy ride, but has promised to sustain us.
God is faithful, God will not desert you.
God is the pulse of the cosmos, God will not let you die.
God is love. They will comfort you.
Three in One,
One, but not the same...
...as we are one, but not the same.
Connected, but individual.
Apart, but together.
A part of each other.
As you journey, begin to focus on God.
God is at the centre of the universe, as the Sun is at the centre of our solar system.
The source of all warmth and love and light and life.
God pours out into the universe with life-giving light, with love.
Experience the love, feel the warmth. Choose life.
Can you receive from God? You may not like accepting and receiving hospitality. Yet God, our host, has so much to offer us and give us: all the riches of a relationship.
Jesus himself was a guest at a wedding in Cana - we've heard it all before.
He turned the water into wine. (It's our proof-text against puritans.)
Jesus was a guest - of humanity.
The heavenly host, who laid on a harvest of abundance for the world,
the creator, my provider, became the guest of the animals in the stable,
the villagers of Nazareth, the religious leaders in the Temple,
the prostitutes, drunkards, tax collectors.
He let us play host, did away with the VIP pass, ate, drank, and was probably merry.
Became one of us, dined at our table.
Ate the same bread, drank the same wine - everybody having a good time.
Shared stories; shared our story.
When he left the table, he left bread and wine.
He, himself, left; but he left himself.
The guest, once more, became the consummate Host.
Through all the interference and the static of on-screen culture, God's voice is breaking through the airwaves:
"Are you receiving me? Are you receiving me?"