Saturday, 17 December 2016
Praying in Advent with USPG,
(21): 17 December 2016
We have come to the end of the third week of Advent, with just a week left to go to Christmas Eve. Throughout this time of preparation for Christ’s coming at Christmas, I am praying each morning in Advent and using for my reflections the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency, USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel).
This week, these prayers focus on the needs of the Church of Ceylon, the Anglican Church in Sri Lanka. Last Sunday [11 December 2016], the USPG Prayer Diary told the story of children at the USPG-supported Saint Andrew’s Little Flower Nursery School in Templestowe. The school looks after the children of marginalised tea plantation workers, and the story of two five-year-olds, Durga and Sabish.
The USPG Prayer Diary:
Saturday 17 December 2016:
Pray for peace and justice in Sri Lanka. We pray for an end to tensions among ethnic and religious groups, and heart-felt reconciliation.
Readings (Revised Common Lectionary, the Church of Ireland, Holy Communion):
Genesis 49: 2, 8-10; Psalm 72: 1-5, 18-19; Matthew 1: 1-17.
The Collect of the Day:
O Lord Jesus Christ,
who at your first coming sent your messenger
to prepare your way before you:
Grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries
may likewise so prepare and make ready your way
by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
that at your second coming to judge the world
we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;
for you are alive and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end.
The Advent Collect:
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.