Wednesday, 31 January 2007
I know many twelve year olds who know every book in the Harry Potter series inside out and backwards. No harm in that! But, how well do we know our Scriptures? It is only the Bible that contains the word of life!
Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Tell of his birth at Bethlehem,
not in a royal house or hall
but in a stable dark and dim,
the Word made flesh,
a light for all.
Monday, 29 January 2007
Saturday, 27 January 2007
The crib is really beautiful - it comes from Italy. The figures are very expressive, and are housed in a lovely stable. During service time, red votive lights burn in front, giving a warm and welcoming glow. You can see our splendid Christmas tree standing on the left.
During the joyful days of Christmastide, we conclude all our services with a carol sung as everyone gathers round the crib.
O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him, born the king of angels:
O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.
Friday, 26 January 2007
The tree is lit each year at our Christmas Celebration just as Baby Jesus is laid in the manger. It brightens up the darkened Chapel and reminds us that:
All out of darkness we have light,
which made the angels sing this night:
'Glory to God and peace to men,
now and for evermore. Amen.'
Thursday, 25 January 2007
Our lack of unity must be a stumbling block to some people thinking about converting to the Christian Faith, so as we give thanks today for the amazing conversion of Paul, let us pray for a miracle on the unity front!
Eternal God and Father, whose Son at supper prayed that his disciples might be one, as he is one with you: Draw us closer to him, that in common love and obedience to you, we may be united to one another in the fellowship of the one Spirit, that the world may believe that he is Lord, to your eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Thank you for joining me in prayer during this week. I'll post some more 'informal' blogs over the next few days. I haven't forgotten the photo of the Christmas tree - which is still looking spendid!
Wednesday, 24 January 2007
Tuesday, 23 January 2007
So, Lord, at length when sacraments shall cease,
May we be one with all thy Church above,
One with thy saints in one unbroken peace,
One with thy saints in one unbounded love:
More blessed still, in peace and love to be
One with the Trinity in Unity. Amen.
Monday, 22 January 2007
For all thy Church, O Lord, we intercede;
Make thou our sad divisions soon to cease;
Draw us the nearer each to each, we plead,
By drawing all to thee, O Prince of Peace:
Thus may we all one Bread, one Body be,
One through this Sacrament of unity. Amen.
We will conclude this particular prayer tomorrow.
Sunday, 21 January 2007
O thou, who at thy Eucharist didst pray
that all thy Church might be for ever one,
grant us at every Eucharist to say,
with longing heart and soul, 'Thy will be done.'
O may we all one bread, one body be,
through this blest sacrament on unity. Amen.
We will continue this prayer tomorrow.
Saturday, 20 January 2007
Friday, 19 January 2007
Thursday, 18 January 2007
As you can see, I am making an ex-cathedra statement from my throne. What a pity I had to use the self-timer on my camera to record this wonderful moment!
Joking apart - today, Thursday 18 January is the first day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and I invite you all to join me in the following prayer:
Heavenly Father, your Son our Lord Jesus Christ said to his apostles, Peace I leave you, my peace I give you; Regard not our sins but the faith of your Church, and grant it that peace and unity which is agreeable to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Let's keep the prayers for unity going each day until Thursday 25 January.
Wednesday, 17 January 2007
It is quite common to adopt this custom on the continent, but not so common in Britain. However it makes good sense in the Chapel of the Resurrection as it is closed during the 12 days of Christmas, and we don't want to put the crib up at the beginning of Advent!
I enjoy meditating at the Crib during these dark January days. All the commercial side of Christmas has gone, and it seems easier to focus on the great mystery of the Word made flesh.
I'll post our Christmas tree before we take it down on 2 February - it has 300 lights!
Monday, 15 January 2007
Then entered in those wise men three;
full reverently, upon their knee,
and offered there is his presence,
their gold and myrrh and frankincense:
Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell,
born is the King of Israel.
We had a lovely service and then a fabulous feast afterwards in Latymer House. There was oodles to eat and drink!
Saturday, 13 January 2007
Thursday, 11 January 2007
Here is a lovely poster showing the three wise men about to enter the house where the Holy Family are living in Bethlehem. They have followed the bright star, and they are full of joy as they are about to go and present their gifts of gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Something has led us to go to the Chapel of the Resurrection. Are we full of joy as we are about to enter God's House? What gifts do we bring with us? We can all learn from the wise men!
Say, shall we yield him, in costly devotion,
Odours of Edom and offerings divine?
Gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest or gold from the mine?
Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gifts would his favour secure;
Richer by far is the heart's adoration,
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.
Wednesday, 10 January 2007
Cradled in a stall was he
With sleepy cows and asses;
but the very beasts could see
that he all men surpasses.
Let us pray that we will have the wisdom of the cow and the ass - and follow Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life!
Even the sheep has it's eyes firmly fixed on Jesus, who is the light of the world!