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Advent Thoughts from Barbara Lucas

posted 17 Nov 2009, 01:18 by Richard Jones   [ updated 9 Jan 2010, 00:06 ]
A little known fact, is that I am actually a bit of a bookworm. No sit down with a cup of tea is complete unless I have something to read. I'm always on the look out for new reading material. Whilst in church one day I borrowed a rather hefty volume entitled " The Lion Prayer Collection " in it I found some rather lovely prayers about Advent and I thought it would be nice to share them with you.

I am blessed to come from a big family. Christmas is always fantastic, packed with great family get togethers and I feel very lucky indeed. However the downside of this is the volume of presents that have to be bought. I know some people enjoy shopping but for me its just another job that has to be done and sometimes,I feel the real message of Christmas gets, if not lost, then side tracked by the hub bub of shopping, cleaning, baking and entertaining. So this year I aim to shop early and  then make sure that I have time to go to all the really lovely special Christmas services.

Monday 14 December, 1pm School nativity in the CATHEDERAL

Friday 18th December, 2.30pm School nativity in CHURCH

Sunday 20th December, 6.30pm 9 lessons and carols in CHURCH

Christmas Eve, 4pm Sunday School nativity and Christingle in CHURCH
 

I seem to always have a job list stuck to the fridge, how about we stick these prayers there instead and write the services on our ' to do ' list.

The television is already soaking us with Christmas adverts but I think the ' Christmas isn't Christmas without M & S '  just is not right and serves only to remind me of the true meaning of Christmas and the most precious gift to us all.
 

Think about the children, will they really remember, or do they really need, that one more gift to open on Christmas morning ? Perhaps they would remember more seeing the wisemen take their gifts to the baby Jesus, or the flickering candles lighting up the church at the Christinge service. Let us make time in the hectic run up to Christmas to go to Church and receive that gift that will last a lifetime.

 

A prayer for Advent.

 

At Advent we should try the key to our heart's door. It may have gathered rust. If so, this is the time to oil it, in order that the heart's door may open more easily when the Lord Jesus wants to enter at Christmas time !

       Lord, oil the hinges of our heart's doors that they may swing gently and easily to welcome your coming.

 

For the first Sunday of Advent (29th November 2009)

 

Father God, this is the day when the church begins to think about Christmas. The very word makes us feel excited. You want us to be excited about Christmas, Father, and you want us to enjoy it. But you also want us to understand it. In these days of Advent teach us, Father, what Christmas means........... Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

For the second Sunday of Advent (6th December 2009)

 

Our Father, we thank you for the Bible which tells us the Christmas story. Thank you too, for the writings, centuries before, which tell of the coming of Savior and King. Thank you for those who toiled and gave their lives so that we could have the bible in our own language. Help us to understand your Word and to treasure it as you speak to us from it, preparing our hearts for Christmas.

 

For the third Sunday of Advent (13th December 2009)

 

Father, through John the Baptist you tried to prepare your people for the coming of Jesus. Will you try to prepare us too? Prepare our hearts and minds that we may know what to look for in the coming of Jesus Christ into our world.......... May we show the joy of the Advent message in our lives day by day. Through him who came at Christmas time. Amen.

 

For the fourth Sunday of Advent (20th December 2009)

 

Lord, as you dispelled

the fears of a maiden mother

by whispering the promise of your presence,

so banish the world's misconceptions

about you and your ways.

Come to each of us.

Roll back the clouds of doubt and pessimism.

Fill our individual lives with servant love

and direct the nations to humble awareness;

for you are God,

rich in mercy,

strong in righteousness,

ready to make your home with us

now and forever.

 

Especially for the children.

 

I count the days to Christmas

and I watch the evening sky.

I want to see the angels

as to Bethlehem they fly.

 

I'm watching for the wise men

and the royal shining star.

Please may I travel with them?

Is the stable very far?

 

I count the days to Christmas

as we shop and bake and clean.

The lights and tinsel sparkle,

and yet deep inside I dream

 

that as we tell the story

of Lord Jesus and his birth,

the things of everyday will fade

as heaven comes to earth.

 

My favourite carol is ' O little town of Bethlehem ' and I love to sing.............

 

" No ear may here his coming; but in this world of sin,

where meek souls will receive him still

the dear Christ enters in. "

 

This Advent I pray that we have " oiled the hinges of our hearts " , what a clever way to think of Advent, and that we can welcome The Living Lord into our hearts and homes this Christmas.

 

"O come to my heart, Lord Jesus;

There is room in my heart for thee."
 

Sometimes it's hard to go into church, not knowing just who will be there or where you will sit, if you want someone to go along with catch me or any of the Sunday school teachers and we can meet up and all go together.The next school run coffee morning is Tuesday 8th December from 8.45am, it would be lovely if you came along.

 

Barbara Lucas

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