On Friday evening, some women gathered for an Advent Crafts evening to celebrate the run up to the Christmas season. Aswell as food, drink, Christmas music and decorations to make together, we thought a little about how the season might be for us, a group of predominantly single parents. It can be a tough time, with lots of unrealistic expectations (from us, and onto us!) a time where we can feel inadequate because we want to give our children good things but our budgets are tight, and the added pressures that everyone being at home and meeting up with wider family can bring. We thought about Mary, an unmarried teenage mother, giving birth to her precious child, in a stable, an unprepared and hastily arranged situation, chaotic and not full of beauty and peace like the carols tell it. We reflected what God choosing to be born into such a messy situation might mean for us.
We prayed this prayer:
God, born in a stable, surrounded by chaos and mess,
You came into our world
To journey with us,
To understand our struggles and hear our cries
Mary, young and uncertain,
Pregnant in scandalous circumstances
That no-one else understood;
You did the best you could to raise your child,
As we are doing too.
Pray for us in our struggles, and hear our cries.
Jesus, help us when we are stressed,
Give us patience and help us to cope,
Bless our families
And bathe us all in your peace and love