Salvation to all that will is nigh;
That All, which always is all everywhere,
Which cannot sin, and yet all sins must bear,
Which cannot die, yet cannot choose but die,
Lo, faithful virgin, yields Himself to lie
In prison, in thy womb; and though He there
Can take no sin, nor thou give, yet He will wear,
Taken from thence, flesh, which death's force may try.
Ere by the spheres time was created, thou
Wast in His mind, who is thy Son and Brother;
Whom thou conceivst, conceived; yea thou art now
Thy Maker's maker, and thy Father's mother;
Thou hast light in dark, and shutst in little room,
Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb.
Omnipotent, ever-present, creator God,
whose beauty and goodness are manifested in the diversity of all of your creation,
grant to us your people that we may love the thing that you desire.
That among the differences and the many changes of the world today,
our hearts and minds may certainly be fastened on the joy, hope and love granted us through the coming of your Son
and the fellowship of the Spirit.
Help us, O God, to know your will and by knowing it,
to dedicate ourselves to the advancement of your sovereignty,
where peace and love always reign. Amen.
The Annunciation, Fra Angelico 1387–1455
Psalm 23, composed by Howard Goodall. Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, George Humphries soloist.
Justice, mercy and peace
Today is St Andrew's Day, celebrated by Scots everywhere. We know little about Andrew, yet he is the first saint celebrated in the church year. Give thanks for saints who work unrecognised and unknown to many — ministering love, mercy, healing and justice.
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.