Advent Calendar – Day 21

Welcome to Advent…Day 21
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.

Frozen River, by Stephen & Judith Kerry

Music Suggestion

from Spotify playlist ‘Advent Meditations’

The Escape to Egypt
For younger families,
When Herod realised he had been tricked by the three Kings he flew into a terrible rage. He wanted to find the newborn King – not to worship him, but to hurt him. But Herod’s army would not find the family as they were already hiding in Egypt.

Where there is light there is also darkness, and people can do terrible things to entinguish the light. But love is the strongest light of all, it endures even in sorrow and and it can never be taken away. Love wins.

For older readers

Herod, when he realized that the scholars had tricked him, flew into a rage. He commanded the murder of every boy two years old and under who lived in Bethlehem and its surrounding hills. There was terrible weeping heard from every street and house as mothers and fathers grieved for their children.

[This may be the most painful part of the story. The forces of darkness will always do violence to put out the light, but the light will prevail in our work, and lives, and love, and caring].

A PoemThe Flight into Egypt by Thomas Merton

an excerpt…
Through every precinct of the wintry city
Squadroned iron resounds upon the streets;
Herod’s police
Make shudder the dark steps of the tenements
At the business about to be done…

You can the full poem here.

Reflection and Blessing for you and your loved ones
‘Putting Christ back into Christmas’, you may have heard the phrase.. but i wonder if we should really think ‘let’s put Herod back into Christmas’!?

It may sound odd, but the gospel stories reveal a Christ coming to help us become human, open to love, to wonder to God. Herod – and all he represents – seeks to limit our humanity, dull our compassion and numb our imagination, Herod’s way is the path of violence and domination.

The dance of heaven and earth in the Nativity only make sense when we see its purpose; – to resist the Herods of that time – and ours, and to reveal the fullness of humanity

Holy God, we pray for those who stand in the light; for civil rights, for the ecology, for justice and compassion. Let that light be strong and inspiring to us all – to resist the dulling of our humanity.
May the JOY of the shepherds keep our hearts open to love. Amen

The Food Bank

West Berks Foodbank Reverse Advent Calendar
Day 21 – gravy granules

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.