The History of the Labyrinth
The labyrinth is one of the oldest contemplative and transformational tools known to humankind, having been used for centuries for prayer, ritual, initiation, and spiritual growth. Different designs have been found at different periods of history in such far flung places as India, Norway, Ireland, England and America.
Christian churches used the labyrinth for prayer and meditation as early as 350 AD. Labyrinths were very popular features of cathedrals built in Europe during the Middle Ages (476 – 1453 AD). In the late 20th century, the labyrinth was “rediscovered” as a tool offering a chance to take time out from our busy lives and to leave schedules and stress behind.
The Prayer Labyrinth of Christ Lutheran Church, Sterling Heights, was a gift to the congregation from Michael Foss. For his Eagle Scout project, Michael researched prayer labyrinths, adapted this particular design to fit the space available, coordinated funding for the project, and then recruited and supervised approximately two dozen people in the construction of the Prayer Labyrinth over a two weekend period in August 2012. The Prayer Labyrinth was blessed and dedicated for use on Sunday, October 21, 2012.
Overview of a Prayer Labyrinth
What is a prayer labyrinth? Some would say it is a maze. But a maze is designed so that you will lose your way. A labyrinth is designed so that you will find your way. A maze requires that you make choices. A labyrinth requires no choice other than whether or not to walk it. With a maze there are dead ends and wrong turns. With a labyrinth there are no dead ends and no wrong turns. In a labyrinth there is one path which leads circuitously into the center, and that same path leads circuitously back out. A prayer labyrinth can help calm the mind, relax the body, reduce stress, and provide space that helps guide your mind and heart in prayer.
The path is a metaphor for our journey with Christ. Walking toward the center, we can release cares and concerns, emptying and quieting ourselves before God. Because the path is winding, we sometimes feel as if we are getting farther away from the center even though we are moving closer to it. When we surrender to the winding path, we can find wholeness and healing. We find a place for meditation and prayer in the center, where we can find clarity in our lives. As we walk back out, on the same path, we can find we are empowered to be more authentic in ourselves and in our service to the world.
Walking a prayer labyrinth can richly bless our lives and lead us to discovery, insight, peace, and direction. As a work of the Spirit, a walk through the labyrinth is more about the journey than the destination, about being rather than doing, integrating body and mind, reason and imagination, thought and feeling into one harmonious whole as God intended.
Christ Lutheran Church
12500 Canal Rd
Sterling Heights, MI 48313
Phone: (586) 731-1113
Traditional - 8:00 am
Blended - 9:30 am*
Traditional - 11:00 am
Holy Communion is celebrated weekly at all three Sunday services
STAFFED NURSERY SUNDAYS
* Active Faith Formation (Sunday School)
3 year olds through 5th graders are welcome to join us every Sunday, in the Youth Room after the Children's Message
Tuesday through Friday
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.