06 December 2016

Praying in Advent with USPG,
(10): 6 December 2016

Saint Nicholas in an Earley stained-glass window in the Church of Saint Nicholas of Myra in inner-city Dublin (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

We are now in the second week of Advent. Throughout this time of preparation for Christ’s coming at Christmas, I am praying each morning and using for my reflections the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency, USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel).

Today [6 December 2016] is the Feast of Saint Nicholas of Myra, who is remembered in many places not only as the figure around whom the myth of Santa Claus has grown up, but an important role model for the way the Church should provide leadership in protecting the rights of children and speaking out against violence against girls and boys.

On Sunday, I wrote about an article in the USPG Prayer Diary that tells the distressing story of the abuse of 12-year-old Kavita, and how Delhi Brotherhood Society (DBS), which runs a helpline and community action programme to support women who face violence, came to her rescue.

USPG is also marking the time around the beginning of Advent, from 25 November to 10 December, as ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.’

The USPG Prayer Diary:

Tuesday 6 December 2016:

Give thanks for those who teach boys and girls that they do not need to perpetuate the violence they see in their families and communities.

Readings (Revised Common Lectionary, the Church of Ireland, Holy Communion):

Isaiah 40: 1-11; Psalm 96: 1, 10-13; Matthew 18: 12-14.

The Collect of the Day:

Father in heaven,
who sent your Son to redeem the world
and will send him again to be our judge:
Give us grace so to imitate him
in the humility and purity of his first coming
that when he comes again,
we may be ready to greet him with joyful love and firm faith;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Advent Collect:

Almighty God,
Give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light
now in the time of this mortal life
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Continued tomorrow

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