The final Sunday of the church year is the feast of Christ the King. It is also known as stir up Sunday after the opening words of the Prayer Book collect for the week ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen’
For our worship Sarah helped us explore the various themes linked with the week.
First we were offered some help to reflect on the year that was finishing. There were a selection of questions and prompts to get us thinking – ‘How has the past year been for you?’ , ‘Where has there been a lack of God’s presence?’, ‘What will you take forward with you next year’, How have you changed throughout the year’, ‘What will you leave behind’, ‘Where have you seen God this year’. Each one could have made for a whole evening’s worth of reflection and many of us spent a long time prayerfully reflecting on them.
Further into the chapel was a board with the text pinned to it. ‘Our collect today reminds us that it is ‘Stir up Sunday’ a Sunday synonymous with Christmas puddings. The great cry ‘stir up’ was a reminder to congregations to get the Christmas puddings made in plenty of time to mature before Christmas. An important addition to the mixture is a coin, who ever gets it on their plate on Christmas day should get worldly riches heaped upon them.’ People were asked to write what they would you wish for if they got the coin on Christmas day.
The next installation took the reflections on the collect to a deeper level. On the table were coloured glitter jars. [Sarah and Emma made the jars – here are their instructions 1. Fill a jar with about half an inch of warm-hot water 2.Pour in all of a glitter glue pen (about 15ml) 3. Add glitter in matching or contrasting colours – as much as you like! 4. Shake it up until the glitter glue melts and mixes with the water, so there are no blobs left (make sure the lid is on tightly!) 5. Top it up with more warm water (not too much or it’ll be too thin and your glitter won’t float) and keep adding glitter until you’re happy with it]
We were invited to pray for God to stir up our wills as we shook the glitter jars and used their colours as a reflection and focus for our prayer.
The final installation asked us to reflect on the gospel reading Matthew 25:31-46 – the story of the sheep and the goats. Again, there was a short reading to help us with our prayer and reflection.
After we had all spent time reflecting we returned to out coffee and cake. conversation flowed as we talked about how we understand Christ’s kingship and how we make sense of judgement.