Here is Zoe Barker‘s interpretation of John 14 verse 2-3, drawn for us as part of the 12 Words project.

“There is more than enough room in my Father’s home … When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”
John 14:2-3

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Earthed – a Christmas poem

Although we chose ‘Light’ and ‘Promises’ for our Christmas cards, the word that perhaps best represents Christmas is ‘Earthed’. As God enters our reality in the form of the baby Jesus, his presence, his promises, become ‘earthed’ among us.

So here’s a poem for Christmas on that theme:

Earthed – a Christmas poem

Ring a bell,
Call a parade,
Get this on the evening news.

Let everything on earth,
And beneath the earth and above it,
And everything in the sea too,
From the oak to the octopus,
Bees, bears, birds, buffalo, bacteria,
And human beings,
Take notice.

We have an announcement.

The waiting is over.
The gap is breached.

Tell the lame they will dance
And the blind they will see rainbows.
Tell the oppressed they will be free
and the poor they will be rich.
Tell the meek their earth is ready.

Tell darkness its days are numbered
And its minions to flee,
Tell the warmongers
That peace will overtake them
And cover their battletanks in dust.

Let the wind shake the forest,
And ripple praise across the grasslands.
Let the mountaintops sparkle with joy.
Your God is for you; your God is with you,
Let all creation sing his welcome.

But whisper it,
The baby is sleeping.

(Jeremy Williams, 2011)

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12 Words calendars now available

The 12 Words project always did lend itself to a calendar, and all the more so in 2012… So we’re pleased to announce that the 12 Words calendar is now available to order.

Each month has a verse and a thought-provoking photo illustrating one of the 12 words. It’s a creative way to reflect on the story that the Bible tells, and to start conversations about what it means to us.

If you’d like a calendar, call us on 020 7730 2155, email uk@sgmlifewords.com, or fill in the form here and we’ll get one in the post.

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We’ve just sent the 12 Words calendar to the printer’s this morning, after several weeks of taking photos and putting together artwork. We’ll put up some of the photos soon, and let you know when they’re available to order.


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12 Christmas cards

Every year SGM Lifewords creates a new range of Christmas resources, and this year we’ve drawn inspiration from the TWELVE project. We chose two of the 12 words that most reflect the idea of Christmas, and commissioned Christmas card images for each one.

The result is ‘Light’, and ‘Promises’, and two engaging and colourful images from artist Chinatsu Sunaga. (We nearly used ‘earthed’ as well, which suggests the incarnation and God breaking through into reality.)

There’s a little twist to our Christmas cards. First, each one has a snippet of the Christmas story from the gospels, to whet the appetite of those who receive them to read the story for themselves. Second, there is an invitation on the back of the card to order a free limited edition calendar, 12 Words for 2012 – more on the 12 Words calendar soon!

The cards are in stock now. As usual, they are available free of charge, and you can order them here. To browse the rest of our Christmas materials, visit our dedicated Christmas site here.

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PS – Have you seen the new SGM Lifewords website? It’s just gone live here.

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Imagine the Sermon on the Mount

One of the distinctive aspects of the You Are Here series is that it encourages listeners to let their imaginations run with the Bible story as it is read.

When the Bible is read aloud, many churches encourage listeners to follow along in their own Bibles. That sets the focus on the text, which is great for studies and sermons. If we wanted to focus on the narrative, it might be better to close our eyes and visualise what we’re hearing.

That’s the approach You Are Here encourages, and to get participants in the right frame of mind, each session begins with an imagination exercise. You’ll have to download the series to see how they work in practice, but as a little taster, here’s one of them. It’s from part six, and it introduces the Sermon on the Mount.

You may find it useful in other contexts well beyond You Are Here, so feel free to use it and adapt it for your own context.

Close your eyes and relax. Think about what you have done today… Imagine your day written down, the good things and the bad things together, written in the pages of a book… If there’s anything worrying you, or something you need to remember, note those things down in the book too. Take a moment to add them.

Now close the book and put it to one side. Allow your mind to go somewhere different.

You are sitting on the ground. You can feel the grass at your fingertips…. a gentle slope beneath you. The sky is blue overhead, interrupted only by the skylarks wheeling over the hillside.

You are not alone. Your family is with you. Next to them are your neighbours, your friends, half the town seems to be here. You have all walked here today, with one purpose in mind: you want to see for yourselves.

You have all heard the rumours. A man, a remarkable man – everyone is talking about him. He can heal the sick, and cure the blind. Two towns over, a local beggar who had never walked in his life danced right there in front of everyone. And he teaches – with warmth, and wit, and wisdom. You had to see for yourselves.

From where you are sitting, look up. Look across the seated crowd, across the heads of the men and women who have walked here with you, past the little children running in and out amongst them.

What does he look like, the man you came here to see?

He is speaking to the crowds. Is he animated? Quiet? Do the crowd laugh, or nod, or scratch their heads?

What is he saying?

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Trees – a poem


I remember it, there at the centre.
I think of it with the sun low behind it,
Lit up in gold, and casting its shadow over us,
The shade cool to our bare feet.
Tall, broad, strong,
I remember the elegance of its form,
The majesty of its spread.
We tended it, your father and I,
When the world was young.

I imagine it stands, still.
deep in the forbidden land.

And here I am, the only one left to have seen it,
with my own eyes, in all its glory.
I will not be the last.

I remember it,
The Tree of Life.

(Jeremy Williams)

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Colouring in the 12 Words

At the Bristol Cathedral Bible trail, children that completed the trail got a goody bag that included this poster, drawn for us by Abi Spendlove. A visitor who was there recently sent in this coloured-in version, completed by her daughter. Thanks Bethan!

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12 Bible trail at Bristol Cathedral

This gallery contains 7 photos.

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