Vol 5 No. 48 Advent – Week 2

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.

Let me add to last week’s introduction by raising two issues.  First; to use the language of Advent is to be incarnational, to imitate Jesus.  The language of Advent is the faith language of over 21 million Canadians.  To fail to use their language is to miss an opportunity to invite them to community.  Second; this Advent opportunity is one of the most exciting time to invite people to church, as at no other time in the year.



In Christ,





From Gathering For Worship, The Baptist Union of Great Britain, published by the Canterbury Press Norwich, 2005, p. 353


Advent 2: The God who Speaks

God’s revelation in the scripture. Thanksgiving for the Bible and confession

for taking it for granted. Prayers for scholars, translators, preachers,

and publishers.

Deuteronomy 6.4–7; 30.11–15; Psalms 119.97–98, 103–105; Isaiah 40.6–8;

55.6, 9–11; John 1.1–5; 2 Timothy 3.16–17; Hebrews 4.12–13.




God of revelation,

we thank you that you are not a silent God,

isolated from humanity,

leaving us to guess and speculate

about the things that matter.

We pray for those who serve you

by studying manuscripts and clarifying texts;

for scholars and preachers

who wrestle with the words of life

for the building up of your Church;

for linguists, translators, and publishers

who continue to serve the cause of your gospel

by making the Bible available to more

and more people.

Lord, create in us a hunger for your word,

a thankfulness for your gospel,

and a faithfulness to your commands;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


A Prayer for Help


God of eternity,

when the voice of the prophet was silent

and the faith of your people low;

when darkness had obscured light

and indifference displaced zeal:

you saw that the time was right,

and prepared to send your Son.

Set us free from fear and faithlessness

that we may be ready to welcome him

who comes as Saviour and Lord.


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


O Wisdom,

You come forth from the mouth of the Most High.

You fill the universe and hold all things together

In a strong yet gentle manner.

O come to teach us the way of truth.


O come, O come, Thou wisdom from above:

The universe sustaining with thy love.

Thou springest forth from the Almighty’s mouth.

Subdue us now, and lead us in Thy truth.


Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Immanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.



From The Lion Book of Christian Poetry, compiled by Mary Batchelor, 2005, p. 28l, 283


From:  A Christmas Sequence 

IV.  The Shepherds

He is so small the stars bow down

The fierce winds ease their breath,

And careful shepherds look upon

The one unsullied birth.

They kneel and stare while time seems gone

The blight on man is all undone

And there will be no death,

For though this be no death,

For though this child will be nailed on

A cross, he’ll be so since

He is the jewel of untold worth,

For him all stars have shone.

Elizabeth Jennings, 20th century



The Shepherds’ Carol


We stood on the hills, Lady,

Our day’s work done,

Watching the frosted meadows

That winter had won.


The evening was calm, Lady,

The air so still,

Silence more lovely than music

Folded the hill.


There was a star, Lady,

Shone in the night,

Larger than Venus it was

And bright, so bright.


Oh, a voice from the sky, Lady,

It seemed to us then

Telling of God being born

In the world of men.


And so we have come, Lady,

Our day’s work done,

Our love, our hopes, ourselves

We give to your son.

Clive Sansom