Saturday 18th December

Was it necessary
to go to this extreme?
To take for a carrier
a village girl
unmarried and disgraced,
nine months pregnant
on an exhausting journey
to a strange town
with nowhere to stay,
in a century
with no healthcare
or sanitation?

What purpose was achieved
except to show
how the weight of God’s love
is so exhausting
it will break the back
of our most stubborn pretensions
and how in a manger
would be the last straw to do it?

(Godfrey Rust)

Friday 17th December

He will come like last leaf’s fall.
one night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding ..
He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.

(Rowan Williams)

Thursday 16th December

In the days of Caesar, when his
subjects went to be reckoned,
there was a poem made,
too dark for him (naïve with power)
to read. It was a bunch of shepherds
who discovered in Bethlehem of
Judah, the great music beyond reason
and reckoning.

(Waldo Williams)

Wednesday 15th December

Sometimes words are not enough
for everything we have to say.
Words can’t beat like a heart
A verb won’t sweat or bleed.
A noun doesn’t get thirsty.
An adjective cannot feel pain.
Something gets lost
in translation into words.

So when God
needed to express
a love deeper than words
he used body language
of a kind not known on earth before.

(Godfrey Rust)

Tuesday 14th December
St John of the Cross

It is this great absence
that is like a presence, that compels
me to address it without hope
of a reply. It is a room I enter
from which someone has just
gone, the vestibule for the arrival
of one who has not yet come …

… My equations fail
as my words do. What resource have
I other than the emptiness without
him of my whole being, a vacuum he
may not abhor?

(R. S. Thomas)

Monday 13th December

This is what hope looks like…
Not squeezing our eyes tightly shut
and believing everything will work out, but persisting in the face
of all the signs to the contrary
that God’s promise holds true,
that a glimmer of light will persist
in the darkness,
that the proud will be scattered,
the lowly lifted up,
the rich sent away empty handed
and the hungry will be fed. How?
By the work of those whose hope is in God.

(Liz Crumlish)

Sunday 12th December
3rd Sunday of Advent
Lighting the 3rd Advent Candle

God our Father,
you gave to Zechariah and Elizabeth
in their old age, a son called John.

He grew strong in spirit,
prepared the people
for the coming of the Lord,
and baptized them in the Jordan
to wash away their sins.

Help us,
who have been baptized into Christ,
to be made ready
to welcome him into our hearts,
and to grow strong in faith
by the power of the Spirit.

We ask this through Jesus Christ
the Light
who is coming into the world.
Amen.


This sequence of daily readings or prayers for the third week of Advent was compiled by Rev Dr Michael Paterson using materials written by him and drawn from a variety of sources. You can download a printable version of the week’s sequence at this link.

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  • 14 August 2022
    11:00 am Morning Worship
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    9:30 am Sung Eucharist
  • 21 August 2022
    11:00 am Morning Worship

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