24 December 2022
Praying in Advent with Lichfield Cathedral
and USPG: Saturday 24 December 2022
We have arrived at the end of Advent and have come to Christmas Eve.
Before today gets busy, I am taking some time this morning for reading, prayer and reflection.
During Advent, I am reflecting in these ways:
1, The reading suggested in the Advent and Christmas Devotional Calendar produced by Lichfield Cathedral this year;
2, praying with the Lichfield Cathedral Devotional Calendar;
3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary, ‘Pray with the World Church.’
Luke 2: 1-14 (NRSVA):
1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’
The Lichfield Cathedral Devotional Calendar:
As we begin the celebrations, pray for the people with whom we will share Christmas: give thanks for the story of Jesus’s birth, the tenderness and humility of it all, casting its light on all human pomposity and ideas of power. Pray for everyone you love, cherish them before God.
you make us glad with the yearly remembrance
of the birth of your Son Jesus Christ:
grant that, as we joyfully receive him as our redeemer,
so we may with sure confidence behold him
when he shall come to be our judge;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Eternal God, for whom we wait,
you have fed us with the bread of eternal life:
keep us ever watchful,
that we may be ready to stand before the Son of man,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
as we prepare with joy
to celebrate the gift of the Christ–child,
embrace the earth with your glory
and be for us a living hope
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
USPG Prayer Diary:
The theme in the USPG Prayer Diary this week has been ‘International Migrants Day.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday with a reflection on International Migrants Day by Bishop Antonio Ablon, Co-ordinator of the Filipino Chaplaincy in Europe, part of the Philippine Independent Church.
The USPG Prayer Diary invites us to pray today in these words:
Let us give thanks for the work of the Filipino Chaplaincy amongst migrants. May their example of hosting the vulnerable and befriending the stranger inspire us to do likewise.
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org