Monthly Archives: December 2013

In the beginning,
God allowed for chaos,
for troubled dreams,
and uncertain sounds,
and fear in the darkness.
Then when the chaos was most threatening
and hope was bleakest,
God said, ‘Let there be light’

And there was light
(first candle is lit)

So, remember the chaos, the uncertainty,
the confusion in which you once floundered,
and give thanks for the light.

In the course of time,
God allowed for a journey
from ourselves to other people,
from restriction to freedom,
from a forgotten place to a promised land.
And when the journey was hardest,
and the way ahead unclear,
and the temptation to turn back most alluring,
God said, ‘Let there be light’

And there was light.
(second candle is lit)

So remember your journey
and how far you have travelled,
and give thanks for the light.

Later yet,
God allowed for the special:
for friendship to grow,
for truth to be discovered,
for faith to become real.

And there was light
(third candle is lit)

So remember not why,
but how and when and where you’ve been blessed,
and give thanks for the light.

And then,
when the light was brightest,
and life was good,
despite our better judgement,
but in solidarity with all humankind,
we chased shadows,
and chose darkness.
(candles extinguished)

So, remember how and when and where
and perhaps why you have wandered
from the light.

Because God loves us,
there will be light again.
Not first in chaos,
not first on the journey,
not first for the special place,
but on the ground
and in a hidden place,
God will come,
offering a baby’s hand,
to greet us.
(candles are re-lit)

Lord Jesus Christ,
who chose, at Bethlehem, to meet us,
make us ready to lose and leave
all that makes us proud and sufficient.
All Let our knees bend to you,
our hearts cradle you,
our lips sing you songs of love.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand.
Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness
and put on the armour of light.

It is time for us to

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wake out of sleep, for deliverance is nearer to us now than it was when first we believed. It is far on in the night; day is near. Let us therefore cast off the deeds of darkness and put on our armour as soldiers of the light. May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.

Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.

We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.

We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.

We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.

We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.

We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!”

Henri J.M. Nouwen

There is a report on Christ Church's Mission Week in this quarter's Growing the Church newsletter. You can read the front-page article here: Growing the Church Fourth Quarter 2013