Saturday, 30 December 2017
Praying at Christmas with USPG
and Lichfield Cathedral
(6): 30 December 2017
We are coming towards the end of the year today [30 December 2017], and tomorrow is New Year’s Eve.
Until the end of this month, I am continuing a practice I began at the beginning of Advent this year. I am spending 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.
This week, the Prayer Diary visits the Holy Land, and this theme was introduced on Sunday by Salwa Khoury, who is based at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Nablus on the West Bank.
The USPG Prayer Diary:
Saturday 30 December 2017:
Pray that the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem might be strengthened in its witness to the reconciling and healing power of Christ.
Lichfield Cathedral Advent and Christmas Devotional Calendar:
The BBC World Service has broadcast a 30-minute documentary on the Bethlehem Icon Centre which can now be listened to on iPlayer. The Bethlehem Icon Centre trains Palestinian Christians to be iconographers, and reconnect with a nearly lost part of their spiritual heritage.
Students from the Bethlehem Icon Centre are coming to Lichfield Cathedral next year  to work on a new commission, the Icon of Christ Crucified. The icon will complete the ‘triptych’ of icons, including the icons of the Virgin Mary, and the Archangel Gabriel that were completed last year.
The Lichfield Cathedral Advent and Christmas Devotional Calendar suggests lighting a candle each day as you read the Bible and pray.
Today, the calendar suggests reading Matthew 2: 13-15 and 19-23.
The reflection for today offers this challenge:
Pray for the homeless, the refugee and the migrant – all seeking a home, security and stability.