Advent candles, prayer, and song and a Christmas Acrostic — a bounty of gifts

Gifts for all of us. From John Stuart this piece of art for anyone to use. He offers it through Casa: An Experiment in Being Church.

A gift from John Stuart

A gift from John Stuart

















A gift from Rosalie Sugrue from Aotearoa / New Zealand, our very frequent and beloved contributor.

An Advent Prayer (for two voices)

1) Prepare us now, Lord Jesus,

2) for the simple wonder of you coming among us…

1& 2) As we reflect on your humble birth, and your radical life
may we understand what they could mean for us.

1) Are we, ordinary Christian people, that we are,

2) called to live radical lives in our time?

1) Does your birth mean us showing love to our neighbours?

2) Does your birth mean us actively working for peace?

1) Does your birth mean us giving hope to needy friends?

2) Does your birth mean us bringing joy to those we encounter?

1) Does your life mean us entering fully into life like you did –

2) enjoying good things like food and drink, solitude and company, as well as being alert to injustice and greed?

1) Does honouring your life mean us caring for Your world?

2) Does honouring your life mean us healing ills in our communities?

1) Does remembering you mean speaking up for those who cannot speak, supporting the troubled and the weak?

2) Does your life mean justice encompasses us?

1& 2) If this is why you came, help us O Lord,
to move from understanding to action. Amen

Some fun …

A Christmas Acrostic

C for the Christ child born that day
H for the Hay where the baby lay
R for Rejoicing on Christmas morn
I for the Inn where Jesus was born
S for the Shepherds who saw a light
T or the Tidings heard that night
M for Mary the mother mild
A for Angels who blessed the child
S for the Star who showed the way
and for this Special holy day.

Prof Colin Gibson, known among Methodists as the NZ Charles Wesley is a multi-talented musician and prolific hymn writer. Rosalie asked his permission for me to share this wonderful carol and (who certainly usually gets royalties) suggested that he could be emailed if you would like the score (it is exquisite) and doesn’t mind that I share his email address here


We who love Jesus asleep in the hay,
For all those children who wander today
Homeless and hungry and driven, we pray.
E te Ariki, whakarongo ki a matou.  [Maori: Lord, hear our prayer]

We who see Jesus on Mary’s sweet breast
Pray for all children who are nobody’s guest,
Walking to nowhere, with nowhere to rest.
E te Ariki, whakarongo ki a matou

We who praise Jesus, the gentle and kind,
Pray for all children unseen, out of mind,
Beaten, abused, or in conflict entwined.
E te Ariki, whakarongo ki a matou.

We who in Jesus know God come to earth,
Pray for all children, wherever their birth:
May they find shelter, be loved, given worth.
E te Ariki, whakarongo ki a matou.

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