Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE TWENTY-SECOND OF DECEMBER 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O God, who are the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom stands our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom; defend us your humble servants in all assaults of our enemies, that we, surely trusting in your defence, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

( Gelasian Sacramentary )

CANTICLE

He will come like last leaf's fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to the bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud's folding.

He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.

He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.

He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.

( Rowan Williams )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

A Christmas carol for those who have been awaiting "The Last Jedi"

Sydney Carter was a Quaker, a theologian, and an eclectic one at that. He had a deep faith that looked more to the future than to the past. He is best known for his hymn “Lord of the Dance” in which he combined the story of Christ with a shaker tune, and entitled it with an honorific Hindus bestowed on the god Shiva.

Carter once wrote: "I see Christ as the incarnation of the piper who is calling us. He dances that shape and pattern which is at the heart of our reality. By Christ I mean not only Jesus; in other times and places, other planets, there may be other Lords of the Dance. But Jesus is the one I know of first and best. I sing of the dancing pattern in the life and words of Jesus."

At another time he wrote: “Your holy hearsay is not evidence. Give me the good news in the present tense. What happened nineteen hundred years ago may not have happened. How am I to know? The living truth is what I long to see; I cannot lean upon what used to be. So shut the "Bible" up and show me how the Christ you talk about is living now.”

This Christmas it might be fair to say that the number of folks awaiting the new "Star Wars" film, "The Last Jedi," will give a good run against the number of folks awaiting the "birth of Jesus Christ." So here is Sydney Carter’s beautiful carol, just in time for the "Star Wars" crowd to give a thought to the human child in the manger.

Every star shall sing a carol;
every creature, high or low,
come and praise the king of heaven
by whatever name you know.

When the king of all creation
had a cradle on the earth,
holy was the human body,
holy was the human birth.

Who can tell what other cradle
high above the Milky Way
still may rock the king of heaven
on another Christmas Day?

Every creature he will gather,
all shall know him for their own.
I will praise the son of Mary,
brother of my blood and bone.

Every star and every planet,
every creature, high or low,
come and praise the king of heaven
by whatever name you know.

God above, man below,
holy is the name I know.

Scripture. In the fifth chapter of "Amos," at the eighth verse, we read:

The one who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning, and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the LORD is his name.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for all God's children and all creation.

... that our faith may always be relevant in our lives today.

... that our Jesus will return in glory and bring in the kingdom of our God.

... that we may learn to dance with Christ and with the universe.

... for peace in Jerusalem and the thwarting of those who stir up trouble in the Holy Land.

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From "Experifaith" by Gudjon Bergmann:

This notion of shared experience is important. A hiker, for example, has much more in common with other hikers who have walked paths foreign to him than with sedentary people who have never hiked anywhere but have read books about the hiker’s favourite path. If someone has hiked several mountains in Switzerland, for instance, he or she is likely to have more in common with those who have hiked in the Rocky Mountains than with those who have never hiked at all. The terrain may be different, but the act of hiking is similar. The same is true about spirituality. The acts of praying, meditating, fasting, contemplating deeply, and having other direct forms of experience, all influence practitioners differently than mere reading or listening. Moreover, because we all have the same tools to work with—body, mind, and spirit—practitioners from different faiths will have more in common than they realise.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, as your blessed son Jesus Christ first came to seek and to save the lost; so may he come again to find in us the completion of his redeeming work; for he is now alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.


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