Thursday, 22 December 2016
The last of our Advent spaces in the Kelvinbridge building has been this week 'A Space for Love'
A Space for Love
Celebrating Jesus, the light who came into the world, many of us fill our homes at Christmas with light and laughter, family and friends. But for millions who are fleeing from conflict, a joyful home is a distant memory at best. As we celebrate the light of the world, we remember those surrounded by darkness.
You are invited to pause here and reflect on our city, our country, and our world as places where love might come.
Sometimes we focus on the things that separate us, outward signs of our difference from one another. We can fail to live with expectation, to imagine that here, in this place, great love might be offered to us, in each other and by God
This week let us think about this church, this community, our city, our country and world and know all are held in the presence of an all loving God.What is it like to receive that love? Where have we already seen love shown here? How can we encourage its blossoming in our own lives and the life of our community?
We are not alone. Across the world this Christmas we hear of small blossomings of love and acts of kindness, strangers welcomed. Let us be thankful for signs of love we have seen and felt living here, and if we pray, let us pray for the signs of love we long still to see in this place and further afield.
Jesus said ‘ Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.’ John 13:34
Adapted from In this Hour: Liturgies for Pausing, Dorothy McRae-McMahon, SPCK 2001 and Christian Aid ‘Light the Way’ liturgy.
Let your light shine.
Let your spirit soar.
Throw open your mind.
Here it comes – love.
It shines in the darkness.
It sings in the shadows.
It will not cower and cannot be contained.
Go safely towards Christmas Day,
trusting that love is moving towards you.
And may the God of love go with you,
the child of
touch your life Bethlehem
and gifts of grace bless you every step of the way
Wednesday, 14 December 2016
This week the Advent Space in the Kelvinbridge building is
'A Space for Joy'
'A Space for Joy'
Uncontainable, irrepressible, bubbling up in an explosion of energy; what the weary long for, what children often embody – JOY.
Joy is not a commodity that can be bought or sold, but lives deep in the human spirit. In these days may we be able to let go of what our consumer culture says will bring us happiness – money, success, a scramble to the top that leaves us flat. May we find true joy in being children of God, being loving neighbours, and justice and peace seekers.
God give us joy in this Advent, as we wait and watch and wonder how you might reveal yourself to us.
And in these days when the focus of the community is on the coming of love into the world, on the expression of that love in families, on having many friends and people who love us, we remember that some of us are not surrounded by love. Some have no families, or we are part of families which are less than expressions of loving relationship. Some are all too aware of loss, this Advent, the absence of people we have loved, of loneliness, or of betrayals of love.
Some of us would rather that Christmas was past. Some of us remember others for whom Christmas is an ordeal rather than a joy.
On this day may we stay with our real feelings about the journey towards Christmas, be it joy or sorrow.
Jesus says, ‘Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.’ John16:24
Adapted from Prayers for Life’s Particular Moments and In this Hour, Dorothy McRae-McMahon and Christian Aid Liturgy, ‘Light the Way’
may you know joy in the promise of
God with us.
May you know deep joy and wonder in this
even in times of uncertainty,
Go in peace.
and may God who spoke to, Mary,
speak in your life,
God who came as a vulnerable child
touch you in your need
and the Spirit give you songs of joy
and the Spirit give you songs of joy
Friday, 9 December 2016
Tuesday, 6 December 2016
The second of our Advent spaces, available to all who use the church building, is a space for Peace. We hope folk will pause and if they wish, leave a prayer and take a blessing.
A SPACE FOR PEACE
In these days, we might feel overwhelmed and distracted by our attempts to prepare for Christmas and all that is involved in this season. We are pressured by all that needs to be done, sometimes anxious about the cost of it all, worried, trying to think what we have missed and who needs our attention and care.
On this day, let us commit ourselves to pause and rest for a time, to be aware of what we are doing to ourselves, to enter into a time of peaceful reflection on the coming of the Prince of Peace.
In the settle and stir of a burnt–orange sunrise,
in the lilting laughter around a table,
in the flash of clarity that sparks insight
and leads towards wisdom,
we find the peace that passes all understanding.
But, we are aware of those for whom, day by day there is no peace.
We cry out for repentance of people and powers that peace may come to all.
If we pray, let us pray for peace in these days,
personal peace, and peace for the world.
Jesus says ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid’. John 14:27
Adapted from In this hour: Liturgies for Pausing, Dorothy McRae-McMahon, SPCK 2001 and Christian Aid liturgy ‘Light the Way’.
In this time of waiting,
may God deepen our desire for peace.
May we seek, strive and search
for peace for all peoples
Go in peace,
the peace which passes all understanding.
And may the God who is your loving parent
stand between you and all harm.
God in Jesus, the loving one,
look upon you with grace
and the Spirit visit you
with healing and peace
Adapted from Liturgy for the Journey of Life, Dorothy McRae-McMahon