Vol 5 No. 47 As We Approach Advent

Dear Folks,

Welcome to the season of Advent which pre-empts the two secular cultural commercialisations of our day:  the Christmas rush and New Year’s.  It is a declaration by all Christians that this is a season where we anticipate and lovingly await the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of all of us who have chosen to respond to the relationship He has offered to us, and the hope of the world.

Advent historically, and in the preparation of this newsletter, pre-empts the raucous demands of the culture and intentionally and pointedly re-appropriates this season as an experience of worship and adoration.  It will be of interest to some of you that historically Christians considered Advent to be the beginning of the new year rather than the 1st of January.

Claudia Wakeman and I have selected a variety of readings for your own devotional reflection in this month’s newsletters leading up to Christmas.  We’ll talk more about that later.



In Christ,



P.S.  Update from prayer requests:  The next few newsletters talk about Advent which will pre-empt some other news, but we would be remiss in not telling you that the CBWC-Foundation Board meetings went very well under the leadership of the new chair, David Watt.  And the Banff Pastor’s Conference exceeded all expectations this year.  More about these two events in the new year.

From Gathering For Worship, The Baptist Union of Great Britain, published by the Canterbury Press Norwich, 2005, p. 351- 352


Advent 1: The God who Comes

God comes to us in redemption and judgment. Themes of hope, yearning, preparation and confession.

Psalms 24.7–8; 96.11–13; Isaiah 40.3–5; 52.?–10; Luke 12.35–37a, 40; Romans 13.11–12, 14a.


Praise and Greeting

Advent God, we worship you: the God who comes.

You are not remote from the world you have made,

but each day you come to us,

blessing us with your presence.

You came in creation itself,

as your Spirit moved over the waters of chaos.

You came in Jesus Christ,

made flesh in our world of weakness and need.

You came in power to raise him from death,

a mighty promise for all creation.

Each day you come, by your Spirit,

gently and powerfully working

in the lives of men and women.

At the end of time you will come,

in power and righteousness,

in mercy and redeeming love.

Grant us the grace to welcome your coming.

Inflame our love to yearn for your presence.

Enlarge our vision to recognize your coming day by day.

We greet you, Advent God.



Lord God,

we adore you

because you have come to us in the past:

you have spoken to us in the law of Israel

you have challenged us in the words of the prophets,

you have shown us in Jesus what you are really like.

we adore you

because you still come to us now:

you come to us through other people

in their love and concern for us,

you come to us through those who need our help,

you come to us now, even as we worship you.

Lord God,

we adore you

because you will come to us at the end:

you will be with us at the hour of death,

you will reign supreme when all institutions fall,

you will still be our God when our history has run its course.

We welcome you, the God who comes.

Come to us now in the power of Jesus Christ our Lord.


Prayer of Longing

Lord Jesus Christ

your world awaits you.

In the longing of the persecuted for justice;

in the longing of the poor for prosperity;

in the longing of the privileged

for riches greater than wealth;

in the longing of our hearts for a better life;

and in the song of your Church,

expectation is ever present.

O come, Lord, desire behind our greatest needs.

O come, Lord, Liberator of humanity.

O come, Lord, O come, Immanuel.



O Lord our God,

make us watchful and keep us faithful

as we await the coming of your Son our Lord;

that, when he shall appear,

he may not find us sleeping in sin

but active in his service

and joyful in his praise;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


From Celtic Daily Prayer, Prayers and Readings from the Northumbria Community, 2002, p. 230-231

An evening prayer for blessing during Advent


*God of the watching ones,

Give us Your benediction.


*God of the waiting ones,

Give us Your good word for our souls.


*God of the watching ones,

the waiting ones,

the slow and suffering ones,

give us Your benediction,

Your good word for our souls,

That we might rest.


*God of the watching ones,

the waiting ones,

the slow and suffering ones,


*and of the angels in heaven,


*and of the child in the womb,


*give us Your benediction,

Your good word for our souls,

that we might rest and rise

in the kindness of Your company.



From The Lion Book of Christian Poetry, compiled by Mary Batchelor, 2005, p. 190.


The Annunciation

The angel and the girl are met.

Earth was the only meeting place.

For the embodied never yet

Travelled beyond the shore of space

The eternal spirits in freedom go.


See, they have come together, see,

While the destroying minutes flow,

Each reflects the other’s face

Till heaven in hers and earth in his

Shine steady there.  He’s come to her

From far beyond the farthest star,

Feathered through time.  Immediacy

Of strangest strangeness is the bliss

That from their limbs all movement takes,

Yet the increasing rapture brings

So great a wonder that it makes

Each feather tremble on his wings.


Outside the window footsteps fall

Into the ordinary day

And with the sun along the wall

Pursue their unreturning way.

Sounds perpetual roundabout

Rolls its numbered octaves out

And hoarsely grinds its battered tune


But through the endless afternoon

These neither speak nor movement make

But stare into their deepening trance

As if their gaze would never break.


Edwin Muir (1887-1959)