Messy Men meets monthly on a Sunday morning in HM Prison Haverigg, Cumbria. Cumbria Messy Church Regional Coordinator, Syl Hunt, and her team, share their December 2017 session:
Firstly, we thought about Advent and how God wants us to get ready for the birth of his son; to cast aside our worries and our fears; to open our hearts to Jesus and trust him. We had three Messy activities for the men to engage with.
Broken biscuits: What a disappointment to open the packet and find how many were broken. We thought about how Jesus came into the world for the weak, the fearful, the outcasts, asylum seekers and the homeless.That he came for those who are broken inside, but who put on an appearance that everything is okay!
Cardboard crib: We seem to spend a lot of time waiting for things such as visits from family and friends, but now is the time for us to prepare for Jesus to come. We assembled the crib. Maybe if Jesus was born today, we would find him in a cardboard box under a railway arch. We laid the pieces of cloth in the crib to form a quilt to symbolise our intention to prepare a place and welcome Jesus at Christmas. After listening to Matthew 11:2-11, we thought about how we all face disappointments in our lives, when our hopes are not met, or our dreams shattered. Sometimes life is tough and we can’t always rise above our disappointments, but we have to let them go and give them to God. A dish of pebbles represented our disappointments. We took one and held it for a while until we were ready to give our disappointments to God and put them in the crib. Hearts represented the desires of our hearts for the coming year, our hopes and dreams for our families and friends. When we were ready, we gave them to Jesus.
Baby among the tinsel: Christmas is not what it seems to the world – food, tinsel, presents, etc. We need to prepare our hearts for Jesus. Jesus is not what he seems at Christmas – the tiny baby in the manger. He grew up to be the Saviour of the world. One of the men was really impacted by the tiny baby in among the tinsel and, after we ended with the Messy Grace, a volunteer who comes to sit with the men in the chapel shared something that really spoke to us all about what she had got out of the morning.
Please pray for the Messy Church ministry in Haverigg, for Syl and her team, the chaplains and the men they have contact with each month.
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