Monday, 4 December 2017
Praying in Advent with USPG
and Lichfield Cathedral
(2): 4 December 2017
Advent began yesterday, the First Sunday of Advent (3 December 2017). In the morning, I was leading the services and preaching in Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, Co Limerick (the Parish Eucharist), and Saint Brendan’s Church, Kilnaughtin (Tarbert), Co Kerry (Morning Prayer). Later in the evening, as the canon precentor, I was in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick, taking part in the Advent Carol service, Darkness into Light. Later this morning, I am speaking about Advent in Rathkeale No 2 National School.
Throughout the season of Advent this year, I plan to spend a short time of Prayer and reflection each morning, using the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency, USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) and the Advent and Christmas Devotional Calendar from Lichfield Cathedral.
USPG, founded in 1701, is an Anglican mission agency supporting churches around the world in their mission to bring fullness of life to the communities they serve.
Under the title Pray with the World Church, the current prayer diary (22 October 2017 to 10 February 2018), offers prayers and reflections from the Anglican Communion.
Introducing this week’s prayers, the Prayer Diary says: ‘Throughout Advent, as we remember the Nativity, we’re looking at how the world is reaching out to mothers and babies.’
This week, the diary follows the theme of the story told yesterday from the USPG-supported PMTCT (Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission) HIV programme run by the Church of Tanzania.
The USPG Prayer Diary:
Monday 4 December 2017:
Give thanks for the work of the Anglican Church of Tanzania in reaching out to mothers and babies affected by HIV.
Lichfield Cathedral Advent and Devotional Calendar:
The calendar suggests lighting your Advent candle each day as you read the Bible and pray.
Today’s suggested reading is Matthew 3: 1-12.
The reflection for today asks:
What truths do we find hard to hear or understand? Think of your differences with or fears about people or ideas. God may be bigger than our idea of him – pray for fresh understanding of him.
Readings (Revised Common Lectionary, the Church of Ireland, Holy Communion):
Isaiah 2: 1-5; Psalm 122; and Matthew 8: 5-13.
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.