As the year grows older

This is an amazing Advent Hymn that many of us have never heard. There is a link to the singing of this hymn but be sure to read the words which are wonderful!

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Each Winter as the Year Grows Older

By William & Annabeth Gay

Each winter as the year grows older,
We each grow older too.
The chill sets in a little colder;
The verities we knew
Seem shaken and untrue.

When race and class cry out for treason,
When sirens call for war,
They overshout the voice of reason
And scream till we ignore
All we held dear before.

Yet I believe beyond believing,
That life can spring from death:
That growth can flower from our grieving;
That we can catch our breath
And turn transfixed by faith.

So even as the sun is turning
To journey to the north,
The living flame, in secret burning,
Can kindle on the earth
And bring God’s love to birth.

O Child of ecstasy and sorrows,
O Prince of peace and pain,
Brighten today’s world by tomorrow’s,
Renew our lives again;
Lord Jesus, come and reign!

Night Prayer

Tonight I want to share the prayer I shared on my other blog https://worrylessjourney.com/2018/12/09/what-has-been-done-has-been-done/

It is a night prayer from the liturgy “Night Prayer” from the New Zealand Prayer Book. I have long love the prayer and have shared it before but it fits advent perfectly and is worth sharing again. I use it every night before sleep. Peace be with you.

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Lord,
it is night.

The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.

It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.

The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives
rest in you.

The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
all dear to us,
and all who have no peace.

The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
new joys,
new possibilities.

In your name we pray.
Amen.

 

A little bit more!

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Some people have never heard of Advent. They may not be Christian or espouse any God at all but in this season there is a difference in the air. In the time building up to Christmas there is more focus on the needy and homeless. Collections are made for children, food is collected, the Salvation Army and others receive more help. We are more generous and there is a spirit of compassion abounding. It seems that advent calls for generosity and kindness.Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanakkuh or only the commercial aspects this season changes people The spirit of the holidays is around us and yes, it is something more.

Caring God, help us to carry this spirit into the new year. AMEN

Have a ready heart

Advent brings so much for us to ponder. What is the meaning of Christmas? How can I get ready for Jesus? What does this season mean to me? Can I stop long enough to remember what it is all about?

We have to look toward Christmas with a ready heart.

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Loving God, help us to turn from the busy-ness and dwell on the gift of God. AMEN

The Gift

I often think about the fact that God was willing to leave heaven and come to earth as a man. Who would choose to leave heaven? 





THE GIFT


How wonderful that God
would be willing
to come to earth
as a human


How wonderful that God
would live as man
with other men
in time


How wonderful that God
would be willing
to suffer as men
and die


How wonderful that God
did all of this
for all of us
to live

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Suzanne  Boyd 1996

There is good to come

Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Quote-The-celebration-of-Advent-is-possibleWe are waiting. Most of the time we don’t wait patiently. We want things to happen now! We are poor examples of your love but we know there is better to come. We have to wait for the goodness that on the way. Spend the time in advent looking forward to the birth of Christ. A blessed baby sent to redeem us and show us how to live each day.

Amazing God, you knew we didn’t understand you and so you sent your son. Thank you. AMEN

Stop and remember!

In churches that follow that sort of pattern it is now Advent. The word “advent” is derived from the Latin “coming.”  The dictionary says it is “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.”

When we are planning for the arrival of someone or something important we usually spend time getting ready. If it is something good we are awaiting we anticipate it with excitement. In this case it is the arrival of a baby.

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Waiting for a baby can be exhilarating and exhausting. We buy things for the baby, get a room ready, attend parties and get presents. We count the days.

These are all things we do in this season. However the season has run off the rails. We have forgotten why we are doing all of this. Stop and remember why we are waiting!

Seek forgiveness

Psalm 32:3-5

While I kept silence, my body wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
    my strength was dried up[a] as by the heat of summer. 

Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
    and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
    and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

seek forgiveness

We cannot hide from God. When we do the burden of our sins can overcome us. We have to confess the sins that God already knows. Then the weight of them can be lifted away. Our sins can be forgiven. Thank God!

Compassionate God, we are so blessed that your son died for our sins. We can be forgiven. AMEN

See God

Psalm 27: 13-14

13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!

see God

We can see God. We see him in the faces of friends and family. We see him in the little happenings of each day. We see him in the world around us. We can even see him in suffering and pain. If we pay attention we can see him. Open you eyes to see!

 

Set me high upon a rock

Psalm 27:4-5

One thing I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
    and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter
    in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
    he will set me high on a rock.

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I love this Psalm. How I would love to live in the house of the Lord. How comforting it is to know that he will shelter me and set me high on a rock. Living in a hurricane zone on an island makes this promise important to me. I can see the water rising in my yard. I can feel safe knowing that I can be higher than the water for God is with me.

Caring God, thank you for your promises. AMEN