Advent Calendar – Day 23

Welcome to Advent…Day 23
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.

Painted Glass, photo by Stephen Kerry

Music Suggestion

from Spotify playlist ‘Advent Meditations’

The Meaning of the Nativity

We have heard the story of how Jesus, the son of God came into the world and we have thought about why he came. We see in Jesus a revolution of the human heart, where the low are lifted high and the proud and selfish are set low.

God’s Nativity changes our priorities, changes the way we see the world, and invites us all to share in her reign of love, equality and compassion. Our Advent – our waiting – is almost over….

We now get ourselves ready for the constant surprise of God turning up in the most unlikely of places!

I wonder if you are excited!

A PoemNorthumbrian Sequence IV by Kathleen Raine

an excerpt…

Let in the wind,
Let in the rain,
Let in the moors tonight,

The storm beats on my window-pane,
Night stands at my bed-foot,
Let in the fear,
Let in the pain,
Let in the trees that toss and groan,
Let in the north tonight.

Oh how can virgin fingers weave
A covering for the void,
How can my fearful heart conceive
Gigantic solitude?
How can a house so small contain
A company so great?
Let in the dark,
Let in the dead,
Let in your love tonight.

You can the full poem here.

A prayer from the Eastern church in which Mary speaks to Jesus not just as her son, but as her God…

O sweetest child, how can I feed you, when you give food to all?
How can I hold you, when you hold all things in your power?
How can I wrap you in swaddling clothes,
when you wrap the whole earth in clouds?

The story of the Nativity turns our expectations of God on their head. Instead of power we find vulnerability, instead of strength, this God needs to be held, instead of words, this Word has become wordless.

This God needs our help to be raised, protected, fed and nurtured. This God needs to be let in as our poem illustrates… letting in the wild rugged contours of life. It’s a beautiful mystery which calls to our deepest imagination.

Reflect and think, or share with each other, what you might have expected to find at the manger, and what you have discovered instead…

As we get ready for Christmas and remember – especially in this challenging year – the value of our friends and family. May God’s blessing be upon them this night, and let our care for one another grow deep roots within the soil of our hearts.

We think of ……. (name those you love)

May HOPE, PEACE, LOVE and JOY be with all our friends and families. Amen

The Food Bank

West Berks Foodbank Reverse Advent Calendar
Day 23 – your choice

Please note – the Food Bank have requested that all food donations come to them by the 18th December. Anything after that will now have to be in the New Year.
The full list is on the link above.