This year is unusual with Advent and 1st December coinciding. Worship was varied, starting with an All Age informal service at 9am followed by Commuion at 10.30 and a Communion with Prayers for our Loved Ones (memorial) at 3pm. More or less the same message at all 3 with a bit of relief that there were no children present at the all age. The theme was being ready for the 2nd Coming or death, whichever comes first. If you want to read it, it is on my church website – here.
I have been praying O come, O come Emanuel (as per the traditional hymn). And that is what I was singing as I painted the circular image above. It started as a prayerful ‘doodle’ on my day off on the Friday. I based it on the drawing I did whilst away on a Creative Arts Retreat Movement conference recently using white and yellow on a red background. As I was looking ahead to Advent I chose pink and blue water colour paints.
Not being sure about the placement of the wording I did a sketch on the Saturday night using coloured pencils and added gold letting on my painting on the Monday and called it finished. I wondered if the lettering was bright enough as it doesn’t stand out very much from across the room. However, as we pray we often find that Jesus is not obviously with us. It is as we recognise our longing for him that we gradually become aware of him.
I have found it helpful to have the painting on my prayer table throughout the week and as part of my prayer times have started a new prayer and art journal. The result of this week’s prayers using the set Morning Prayer for the Church of England, have resulted in a picture that I am pleased with.
And this is what my prayer table looks like now:
I hope that you have a blessed Advent as you prepare to celebrate Christmas, and that you find time to pray and reflect. As I put the finishing touches to this blog I am now well into the 2nd week of Advent and it is a very busy week so my own prayer time is squashed. Not sure if I will get a picture in my journal or not….. time will tell…. But for now, it is 5pm – evening prayer time. And this evening I have a Christmas dinner with the art group.