The Journey of Christmas - through Mission Valley Campus

Daily, from 12/19/2021 to 12/25/2021, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Location: First United Methodist Church of San Diego, 2111 Camino del Rio South, San Diego, CA US 92108

The fourth week in Advent we remember the journey Mary and Joseph took to Bethlehem. We might not be able to go to the places we dream of going this year, but we invite you to take a pilgrimage on the Mission Valley campus. 

A mapped route across the campus takes you to 12 places to pause for reflection.

Follow along using
The map/reflection guide on this page or print out your own guide using the links below.

Printable guide with Map

Printable Map Only

The Journey of Christmas


Monday – Saturday, December 19 – 25
 8:30 AM to 5 PM


from Parking Lot 7/6 and follow this map



Linder Patio
View the display of creche sets through the windows of Linder Lounge.


Luke 2:1-7 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.


What are some of your memories of hearing this Christmas Story?
Where is your favorite place to hear the Christmas Story?


O Holy God, the story of the birth of Jesus is told time and again during this season. Let the story fill our hearts with love, our minds with hope and our spirits with peace. Amen.

SING/ LISTEN - After opening the links listed, make sure to click the "back" arrow to get back to this page.

Away in a Manger

Away in a Manger – Pentatonix - YouTube

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.
I love thee, Lord Jesus! look down from the sky,
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And take us to heaven to live with thee there.



Office Bench
Have a seat on the bench outside the church offices. Consider the staff and volunteers who work from this office. Look out onto the lower patio and across our campus. Consider the ministries that happen on our campus.


Ephesians 1:17-19 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.


If you could do anything through this church, what would you want to do?


Loving God, give me a church that serves, a heart that wants to serve, a way to serve through my church. Amen.


Drummer Boy

Carrie Underwood - Little Drummer Boy (Official Audio Video) ft. Isaiah Fisher - YouTube

Come they told me, Pa rum pum pum pum
A newborn king to see, Pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, Pa rum pum pum pum

To lay before the king,
Pa rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum

So to honor him, Pa rum pum pum pum
When we come

Little baby, Pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, Pa rum pum pum pum

I have no gift to bring, Pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give our king,
Pa rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum

Shall I play for you,
Pa rum pum pum pum, Pa rum pum pum, Pum pum pum pum

Mary nodded, Pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, Pa rum pum pum pum

I played my drum for him, Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for him,
Pa rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum

Then he smiled at me, Pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum



Downstairs Bench on the Plaza
Sit on the bench so that you can view the front of the sanctuary and the Children’s Growing Center to the right and below.


Luke 18:16 Jesus called for them and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.”


What is it you hope for the children of our church family? How are you involved in ministry to children and youth? How might you be able to share your hope for children with them and their families?


Eternal God, You came to us as a child. Help us never think we are too grown up to play, too out of touch to learn, and too old to be a friend. Amen.


Jingle Bells

Frank Sinatra - Jingle Bells (Official Video) - YouTube

Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way

Bells on bob tail ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight!

Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.



Bench on Far Side of Parking Lot P4
Have a seat and take in the view of Mission Valley below across the freeway to see all the shops and various buildings.


John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.


What is your Christmas hope for the world?


God of grace and peace, send your grace down upon all the earth so that peace reigns over war, forgiveness reigns over blame, and love reigns over hate. Amen.


Joy to the World

Joy to the World - YouTube

Joy to the World; the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let ev'ry heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields & floods, rocks, hills & plains
Repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love.



Bench Outside Music Center/Trotter Chapel
View the courtyard and the buildings around you.


Luke 2:8-14 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,“Glory to God in the highest heaven,and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”


What does Christmas mean for you this year?
What’s the Christmas music that rings in your heart when you are alone?


God of glory and God of peace, hear our songs we hum quietly and bless our heart that sings loudly. Bring the joyful rhythm of our songs to our daily life. Amen.


Go, Tell It on the Mountain

African Carol / Go Tell It on the Mountain - YouTube

Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere;
Go, tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.

While shepherds kept their watching o’er silent flocks by night,
Behold throughout the heavens there shone a holy light.

Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere;
Go, tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.

The shepherds feared and trembled, when lo! Above the earth,
Rang out the angel chorus that hailed the Savior’s birth.

Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere;
Go, tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.

Down in a lowly manger the humble Christ was born,
And God sent us salvation that blessed Christmas morn.

Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere;
Go, tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.



The Labyrinth
Take your time and walk the Labyrinth's journey.


Luke 24:13-17 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad.


Where are you on your journey? As you walk toward the center of the Labyrinth, pay attention to your feelings in your journey.


O God, help us see Jesus who finds us, approaches us, and journeys with us. Amen.


Do You Hear What I Hear

Do You Hear What I Hear? (feat. Whitney Houston) - Pentatonix - YouTube

Said the night wind to the little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite,
With a tail as big as a kite.

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song high above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea,
With a voice as big as the sea.

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
Do you know what I know?
In your palace warm, mighty king,
Do you know what I know?
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold
Let us bring him silver and gold,
Let us bring him silver and gold.

Said the king to the people everywhere,
Listen to what I say!
Pray for peace, people, everywhere,
Listen to what I say!
The Child, the Child sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light,
He will bring us goodness and light.



Center of the Labyrinth


Luke 24:28-31 As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So, he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.


As you arrive at the center of the Labyrinth, imagine yourself at the table with Jesus. What part of your journey (or "emotions along the way") do you want to share with Jesus?


Emmanuel, God with us, thank you for sending Jesus who opens our eyes to see your love and grace everywhere we break bread. Amen.


O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel | BYU Vocal Point - YouTube

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Wisdom from on high,
And order all things far and nigh;
To us the path of knowledge show
And cause us in her ways to go.

O come, thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heav'nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

O come, though Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by thy justice here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight



Bench on the Far Side of the Driveway by P5
Look back on to the back of the sanctuary.


John 17:21-23 “As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”


Whose face comes to mind when you think of our church? What is your prayer for this person? What is your prayer and wish for the church?


God, you gathered us to be your church and bound us together in your love. Remind us that we are the church everywhere as proclaim Messiah’s birth. Amen.


Angels from the Realms of Glory

Angels From The Realms Of Glory - The Piano Guys ft David Archuleta - YouTube

Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story now proclaim Messiah’s birth:

Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.

Shepherds, in the field abiding, watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing; yonder shines the infant light:

Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.

Sages, leave your contemplations, brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great Desire of nations; ye have seen his natal star:

Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.

Saints, before the altar bending, watching long in hope and fear:
Suddenly the Lord, descending, in his temple shall appear:

Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.



Bench on the far side of the Memorial Garden, in the grassy area on the outside of the back window of the Sanctuary - view looking into the lit Sanctuary.
Prayers for yourself.


Luke 1: 26-35 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”  The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.”


What would it be like to hold and carry Jesus, as Mary did?


Holy Spirit, how do you live and move in my life? Expand my understanding and my spirit to experience your life and breath in me. Amen.


Breath of Life

Amy Grant - Breath Of Heaven - YouTube

I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I've done
Holy father you have come
And chosen me now to carry your son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help me

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven


Memorial Garden central bench
The cross in the cradle.


The Cross in the Manger by Ann Weams

If there is no cross in the manger,
there is no Christmas.

If the Babe doesn’t become the Adult,
there is no Bethlehem star.

If there is no commitment in us,
there are no wise men searching.

If we offer no cup of cold water,
there is no gold, no frankincense, no myrrh.

If there is no praising God’s name,
there are no angels singing.

If there is no spirit of alleluia,
there are no shepherds watching.

If there is no standing up, no speaking out, no risk,
there is no Herod, no flight into Egypt.

If there is no room in our inn,
then “Merry Christmas” mocks the Christ Child,
and the Holy Family is just a holiday card,
and God will loathe our feasts and festivals.

For if there is no reconciliation,
we cannot call Christ “Prince of Peace.”

If there is no goodwill towards others,
it can all be packed away in boxes for another year.

If there is no forgiveness in us,
there is no cause for celebration.

If we cannot go even now unto Golgotha,
there is no Christmas in us.

If Christmas is not now,
If Christ is not born into the everyday present,
then what is all the noise about?


Where do I see this Christ being born in the world today?


Loving God, give me eyes to see where you want to change my neighborhood, my city, my world. Give me ears to hear you as you lead me to follow you. I am ready! Amen.


The Wexford Carol

Yo-Yo Ma, Alison Krauss - The Wexford Carol (Video) - Bing video

Good people all, this Christmas time
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son

With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn
There was a blessed Messiah born

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep
To whom God's angels did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear

'Prepare and go, ' the angels said
'To Bethlehem, be not afraid
For there you'll find, this happy morn
A princely babe, sweet Jesus born

With thankful heart and joyful mind
The shepherds went, this babe to find
And as God's angel had foretold
They did our saviour Christ behold

Within a manger he was laid
And by his side the virgin maid
Attending on the Lord of life
Who came on earth to end all strife

Good people all, this Christmas time
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved Son

With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas day
In Bethlehem upon that morn
There was a blessed Messiah born



Entrance to the Memorial Garden.
Crossing the threshold to new life.


John 1:1-5, 10-12, 14  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God,

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth


As you cross the threshold from the Memorial Garden to the outside, consider what it means for you to head toward new life in Christ.


God of Love, lead me into new life through this Baby, Jesus- born to make me one of your children too! How am I coming into being through Jesus today? Amen.



What Child Is This

Josh Groban - What Child Is This? [Official HD Audio] - Bing video

What child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring him laud,
The babe, the son of Mary.

Why lies he in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.

So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come, peasant, king, to own him.
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone him.


Bell Tower Memorial Monument - view of all saints who have come before.
Give thanks for all the people who fostered faith in you.


Psalm 16: 1-3, 5-6, 11  
Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good apart from you.”

 As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
    in whom is all my delight.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
    you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    I have a goodly heritage.

You show me the path of life.
    In your presence there is fullness of joy;
    in your right hand are pleasures forevermore


When faith is lived honestly and shared in genuine love, it is desired and embraced by those who see it. Who lived faith and shared genuine love in your life?


Thank you, Faithful God, for the men and women who have been your heart, your hands and your feet in my life- showing me what true faith looks like. May I sense your love, and the legacy of faithful saints, as I go from here, and live faith too. Amen.


Oh Come, All Ye Faithful

O Come, All Ye Faithful (2012) - Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Bing video

O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

O Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing all that hear in heaven God's holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.


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