Lincoln Advent: 24 December

Advent Prayers, 24 December
The Mothers’ Union

O Virgo

O Virgin of virgins, how shall this be?
You will conceive in your womb and bear a Son.
Your eyes will see the King in his beauty,
for that which you behold is a divine mystery.

Traditionally, there are only seven “O” Antiphons: when listed and read backwards (of course) they form a Latin Acrostic, promising the coming of Christ:

Emmanuel — God with us
Rex — King of the Nations
Oriens — Dayspring, our Morning Star

Clavis — Key
Radix — Root
Adonai — Lord
Sapientia — Wisdom

ERO CRAS: Tomorrow I come.

So it is for most of the world, and again in our liturgies today. But the English Tradition – the old Sarum Rite – gave us one more glorious prayer:

O Virgin of virgins, how shall this be?
You will conceive in your womb and bear a Son.
Your eyes will see the King in his beauty,
for that which you behold is a divine mystery.

All through Advent, we have been searching for the beauty of God – the wonder Mary bears in her womb.

Our longing for beauty changes us – it brings us close to the mystery of God.

When we can see God’s beauty in the people we meet, we help them to know their own worth. When we can see God’s beauty in our own hopes and dreams, we are given courage to act. When we see God’s beauty in the world all around – it stirs us to love and to care.

There are many beautiful things happening in this diocese – in the projects we have prayed for, in the places we left unsung, in the lives of those who give themselves to Christ, and share in the wonder of God.

Mary changes the Acrostic: Vero Cras — Truly, I Come.

Truly our God will be with us.
Truly, Christ will come.

Today, we pray for the Mothers’ Union: for their work in the Diocese of Lincoln and around the world.

Eternal God, as Mary waited for the birth of your Son,
so we wait for his coming in Glory.
Bring us, with her, to see our great Salvation,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Common Worship Collect, adapted)

the original post is here.

Lincoln Advent: 23 December

Advent Prayers, 23 December
Christian Action and Resource Enterprise

O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, God-with-us, our king and lawgiver,
the one whom the nations await and their saviour:
come to save us, O Lord our God.

Beloved, let us love one another, for Love is from God.
(1 John 4.7)

Where do you hope to find God?

Do you find God in beauty and wonder and music?
in friendship, and laughter and love?
Do you find God in silence?
in dreaming and longing?
or the late slanting light of the sun?

Maybe you find God in others:
you have learned to see God in the streets –
but a part of you longs for sweet-tempered lions,
a world at last at peace.

Or perhaps your God is more distant:
you’re not sure yet of your place –
or if you believe, or want to dream –
maybe kindness
or truth
will suffice.

God comes in what’s most familiar – always has and always will.
God comes in what stirs our hearts to praise
and engages our minds in love.

The things that we love come to change us –
they will never leave us the same.
And Christ, the Beloved, comes to dwell with us now,
and will never leave us alone.

 

Today we pray for the Christian Action and Resource Enterprise (CARE) which works to relieve poverty and distress in North East Lincolnshire. We pray for all who struggle with debt, or loneliness or fear this Christmas, and for all who embody God’s love.

the original post is here.

Lincoln Advent: 22 December

Advent Prayers, 22 December
roadHoG

O Rex Gentium

O King of the Nations, and their desire;
the Cornerstone uniting both in one:
Come and save humankind whom you formed from clay.

May the God of peace make you completely holy,
ready for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Common Worship, Invitation for the Peace in Advent

All through Advent, we’ve been thinking about what it means to live in the in-between time of Christ Yesterday – Christ Today – Christ Tomorrow. We’ve thought about how Christ hides in our streets, and in the faces of those we meet; in the acts of courage and hope that we see around us, and the everyday kindness that make God’s presence real. Hidden behind all this is God the Creator – shaping our world and nudging us into new life.

We are very close now to welcoming the Christ Child. Soon, we will put children to sleep with lullabies and wake them with Glorias – but first the Kingdom demands another look.

When we seek signs of the Kingdom – bright vision of a world transformed by God’s powerful, all-creative Love – we need to look first for the presence of Christ today.

Steve Guthrie says this:

Wherever Jesus, the bearer-of-the-Spirit goes, life breaks out; not some metaphorical, etherealized, ‘immaterial’ sort of life, either, but real bodily vitality. The lame walk, the blind see, the dead are raised to life, the hungry are fed.

(Steve Guthrie, Creator Spirit, p. 69)

This is not – for me – a question about how we interpret miracles, or what sort of healing we find; but rather, it is a question of learning to see Jesus’ presence in a life that is gloriously lived.

Christ the King is Christ the Liberator – the one who comes to free us from all that deadens, all that makes hope whither, all that turns us against ourselves and each other, and all that makes life shrink. Where Christ goes, life flourishes. Where life flourishes, there is God.

As Christ-today, we are called to give this gift to others: hope for a life that’s worth living, trust in a God who keeps coming, until each one of us is set free.

Today, we pray for roadHoG: the first mobile youth church in South Lincolnshire. We pray for all who gather there, that they may find life in its fullness – God in every hopeful breath.

the original post is here.

Lincoln Advent: 21 December

Advent Prayers, 21 December
Street Pastors and Street Angels

O Oriens

O Dayspring, brightness of Light everlasting and Sun of Righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.

A light flickers
a cigarette burns –
the only sign that a person lives
down the alley, at home with the dogs.

Overhead, garlands are shining –
the trees are lit with stars.
The silence is broken by laughter
and shouts
and the shattering smash of glass.

Late at night, while the safe children slumber,
others are walking the streets.
More afraid of alone or at home
than the dark,
fleeing boredom and years of despair.

Yet their lives are a wondrous dwelling
of Christ, who comes again.
He is there in the hard
and the wild hope of dreaming
for a life better than this.

Today we pray for Street Pastors and Street Angels who work at night on the streets to offer a place of safety and compassion.

the original post is here.