• Stillness

    Let the word ‘love’ echo on the in-breath

    As you begin this time of reflection, pause for a few moments and let your attention focus on your breathing. Notice the rhythm as you slowly breathe in and breathe out. As you breathe in, let the word ‘love’ echo on the in-breath, conscious that God breathes love into your being. On the outbreath echo the word ‘thanks’. Hold the breath for a few short moments and allow these words, ‘love’ and ‘thanks’, to fill you and to echo in your mind and heart.

    This week's reading is from the prophet Isaiah.

  • Scripture

    Isaiah 52:7-10

    How beautiful upon the mountains
       are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
    who brings good news,
       who announces salvation,
       who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’
    Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
       together they sing for joy;
    for in plain sight they see
       the return of the Lord to Zion.
    Break forth together into singing,
       you ruins of Jerusalem;
    for the Lord has comforted his people,
       he has redeemed Jerusalem.
    The Lord has bared his holy arm
       before the eyes of all the nations;
    and all the ends of the earth shall see
       the salvation of our God.

  • Reflect

    Will we surprise others through our gentle words, good deeds, and kind actions this Christmas?
    • Looking forward is a lovely thing, as when we are expecting a birth in the family; beginning a new job; preparing for marriage. We daydream about it, and we talk about it. The prophets daydreamed and talked about the coming of the Messiah. Looking forward gave them great enjoyment. And it’s the same for us. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with our family and in joining in Christmas prayer in the church.
    • The people of Israel knew what they were looking forward to: peace, comfort, and salvation. What about us today? We too want peace. And we know many people who need the comfort of friends, the gift of health, the warmth of faith. We need saving from evil in the world, and Jesus’ birth promises that salvation. 
    • Do we know that we will receive these gifts? Yes and no. It is true that Jesus never ceases to surprise us with love, healing and forgiveness. But people can still be left in pain at Christmas. We can bring gifts as well as receive them. Will we do something good for others at this time of year? Will we surprise others through our gentle words, good deeds, and kind actions this Christmas? We can bring the joy of Jesus and the joy of the season into the lives of many. We can help forward God’s reign of love and justice, and know that Our God Reigns.
  • Talk to God

    Can you allow your heart to lift at the foretelling of the joy of Jesus’ coming?
    • Perhaps something has struck you particularly during this reflection time. This is an excellent starting point. Stay with it and make it personal. But don’t forget, first of all, to put yourself in the presence of God. Take your time: there is no hurry.
    • Isn’t there something lovely about anticipating Christmas? Like expectant parents so delighted that their child will soon be born that they’re telling everyone. And how much pleasure their good news brings. Can you allow your heart to lift at the foretelling of the joy of Jesus’ coming?
    • The people wait for the Lord like a watchmen for daybreak. We can’t hurry the dawn, but we know it will come. Sometimes all we can do is wait. It might be waiting for something good to happen, or we might just be waiting for life to get better. Whatever the case, we can bring our patient waiting to God.
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