Labyrinths have a long history in Christian spiritual life, and are often found in cathedrals today. They can be used to symbolise a journey or one’s life path, or simply as a means of slowing down and listening.
This variation of a classical labyrinth follows the calling of Jeremiah, from before he was born to his being sent to the nations. Unusually, we start in the centre of this labyrinth and walk out.
You will need a print-out of the labyrinth, (there are two versions: with words and without) and a small token to walk the labyrinth for you. You can use a glass nugget, bead, coin, ring, flower, or any small item.
Place the token in the centre of the labyrinth, and sit for a minute in silence.
Place your hands in your lap, drop your shoulders and listen to the rhythm of your breathing.
When you are ready, look at the baby. God knew you as a baby, before you saw the light of day, before you were ‘knit together in your mother’s womb’, before anyone even knew or cared that you existed. God knew.
Move your walker along the path a short way. Think of your early childhood. A time before you could speak, and the world was a place of wonder without understanding, of exploring without knowing. What of God can be known when there are no words to get in the way?
At your own pace, move your walker along the path, stopping to recall places in your life journey when you were aware. or not aware, of God’s presence or call.
When you reach the words, pass them slowly, letting God’s words speak deeply in your heart. Pause at the end of each phrase and savour the taste of the words.
Before I formed you
in your mother’s body
I chose you.
Before you were born
I set you apart
to serve me.
As you reach the edge of the labyrinth, where will God’s call send you next?
Jeremiah 1:4-10 New International Version
The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
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