Why you should #FollowTheStar this Christmas – and encourage others to do the same!
This year, #FollowTheStar takes us through twelve days of Christmas – from Christmas Day to Epiphany
“Come as you are” is the Archbishops’ invitation to the nation this Christmas. The invitation is to go on a journey through the twelve days of Christmas online, in print and in Church.
The hashtag #FollowTheStar will allow people to find content online and in social media helping them on the journey. Resources such as a twelve-day book of bible verses and short reflections will help guide us on the way and some churches will be displaying stars outside and inside their buildings, just in the manner of the ancient star that guided the Magi to where Jesus lay.
The Archbishops continue: “Just like the unexpected assortment of people invited to meet the baby Jesus, ‘#Follow the Star’ doesn’t ask you to be perfect. It says: come just as you are to take the life-changing Christmas Journey.”
The invitation can be repeated by anyone to anyone else: friend, neighbour, colleague, or even stranger, to come and take part in the re-telling of the Greatest Story Ever Told.
Just as the story took Mary and Joseph by surprise and unfolded in a way that apears outwardly chaotic, we are not always ready for Christmas, but we can come as we are, whether we are still mired in to-do lists, not living up to the image in our heads of the perfect Christmas or if Christmas is for us a sad and lonely time.
“Wherever you are this Christmas,” the Archbishops say, “you are invited to be with Jesus, You are welcome. You are deeply known and truly loved.”
The Archbishops booklet: “#FollowTheStar: A Journey Through 12 Days of Christmas,” is available from Church House Publishing, www.chpublishing.co.uk/features/follow-the-star individually or in packs.
Bookmarks, greetings cards and posters for churches through the Church Print Hub: www.churchprinthub.org
Night of the Stars
In keeping with star coming to rest over where Jesus lay, churches are being encouraged to display stars prominently, the bigger and more visible the better. It is hoped that many churches will be able to illuminate their stars and share pictures and stories of this on Friday 21st December on social media.
Online Resources include:
Downloadable resources at www.churchofengland.org/christmas
An app, #FollowTheStar available in late November.
An online advent calendar and an animated prayer for families on churchofengland.org
Short videos encouraging people to come to a church service during December 2018