Advent Calendar – Day 17

Welcome to Advent…Day 17
These short meditations can be done alone, with a partner, or with the whole family.
My suggestion is evening time; light a candle, play the music suggested below,

Have a little treat, it’s an Advent Calendar, after all!
(Maybe hide some chocolate around the house each day, or hang it from the ceiling?)
And read the material aloud together…
There’s quite a lot here. You dont need to do it all; either follow the story and the blessings, or simply enjoy the poems.
Make it a special moment, ten minutes of togetherness in this busy season.

Wooden Snowmen! by Martha (3) and Bethany (7) decorated with pen, sequins and knitted scarves

Music Suggestion

from Spotify playlist ‘Advent Meditations’

Simeon and Anna, Orthodox Icon

Anna and Simeon meet the Holy family
For younger families,
When Mary and Joseph came into the temple, Anna and Simeon – who were very old – came to greet them. They were full of joy!
Simeon took the baby Jesus and said,
“God, you can let your servants go in peace now,
Because we have now seen the good thing you promised,
This child will bring light to all people.
We are so happy!”

Jesus’ father and mother were speechless with surprise!

Simeon went on to bless them, and said to Mary his mother,

“This child will inspire many people, but it wont always be easy.
Because you love him so much there will be times that love hurts.
And his life will make people think about their lives too”

for older readers
When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to do what the Law of Moses says should be done for a new baby, the Spirit told Simeon to go into the temple. Simeon took the baby Jesus in his arms and praised God,
“God, you can now release your servant;
    release me in peace as you promised.
With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation;
    it’s now out in the open for everyone to see:
A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations,
    and of glory for your people.”

Jesus’ father and mother were speechless with surprise at these words.

Simeon went on to bless them, and said to Mary his mother,

“This child marks both the failure and
    the recovery of many in Israel,
A figure misunderstood and contradicted—
    the pain of a sword-thrust through you—
But the rejection will force honesty,
    as God reveals who they really are.”

A PoemThat Holy Thing by George MacDonald

They all were looking for a king
To slay their foes and lift them high;
Thou cam’st, a little baby thing
That made a woman cry.

O Son of Man, to right my lot
Naught but Thy presence can avail;
Yet on the road Thy wheels are not,
Nor on the sea Thy sail!

My how or when Thou wilt not heed,
But come down Thine own secret stair,
That Thou may’st answer all my need-
Yea, every bygone prayer.

Reflection and Blessing for you and your loved ones
Anna and Simeon were very old we are told, their lives, simple and saturated in prayer. Prayer not so much as words, but as waiting… waiting for the hope of the messiah.

For most of us, hope, faith, strength, courage are not big seismic events.. but everyday, simple human acts of working, caring, living, sharing, and growing – almost impercetible, taking a lifetime to reach fruition.

If you have others with you, you might like to discuss what ‘prayer as waiting’ might mean…

Holy God, revealed in the smallest of steps, in unspoken prayers, in our hopes and dreams. Help us to honour the everyday task of being and becoming human.
May the LOVE that inspired Ann and Simeon all their lives, be our strength too. Amen

The Food Bank

West Berks Foodbank Reverse Advent Calendar
Day 17 – fruit Juice (long-life)

Please note – the Food Bank have requested that all food donations come to them by the 18th December.
The full list is on the link above.