Thursday, 1 December 2016
Praying in Advent with USPG,
(5): 1 December 2016
The season of Advent began last Sunday [27 November 2016], and throughout this time of preparation, 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).
USPG is also marking this time, from 25 November to 10 December, as ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.’ USPG is involved in a Webinar with the Anglican Alliance today [1 December] at 2 p.m., asking: ‘How can Churches tackle gender-based violence?’
USPG is also asking us as we light our Advent Candles to join praying for the world church as it responds to the needs of the people and communities it serves.
Today is World AIDS Day [1 December 2016], and in an Advent card, USPG tells the story of Flora, who is benefitting from a USPG-supported programme run by the Church of Tanzania that is preventing the transfer of HIV from mothers to babies.
Flora was overjoyed when her new baby son Zephania tested negative for HIV. She said: ‘My prayer is to live long and see my son grow up. God bless those who have supported this life-saving project.’
The USPG Prayer Diary:
Thursday 1 December 2016 (World AIDS Day):
On this day, give thanks for the holy example of so many women who care for relatives and friends who are living with HIV and for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
Readings (Revised Common Lectionary, the Church of Ireland, Holy Communion):
Isaiah 26: 1-6; Psalm 118, 18-27a; Matthew 7: 21, 24-27.
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.