Monday 1 December — Andrew, Apostle and Martyr
(Moved from 30 November to make way for the first Sunday in Advent)
Reveal among us the light of your presence, that we may behold your power and glory.
Andrew: Deuteronomy 30.11-14 | Psalm 19.1-6 | Romans 10.8-18 | Matthew 4:18-22 |
Of the Day: Isaiah 2.1-5 | Psalm 122 | Matthew 8.5-11 |
The Advent wind begins to stir
With sea-like sounds in our Scotch fir,
It's dark at breakfast, dark at tea,
And in between we only see
Clouds hurrying across the sky
And rain-wet roads the wind blows dry
And branches bending to the gale
Against great skies all silver pale
The world seems travelling into space,
And travelling at a faster pace
Than in the leisured summer weather
When we and it sit out together,
For now we feel the world spin round
On some momentous journey bound —
Journey to what? to whom? to where?
The Advent bells call out 'Prepare,
Your world is journeying to the birth
Of God made Man for us on earth.
And how, in fact, do we prepare
The great day that waits us there —
For the twenty-fifth day of December,
The birth of Christ?
For some it means
An interchange of hunting scenes
On coloured cards,
And I remember
Last year I sent out twenty yards,
Laid end to end,
of Christmas cards
To people that I scarcely know —
They'd sent a card to me, and so
I had to send one back.
Oh dear! Is this a form of Christmas cheer?
Or is it, which is less surprising,
My pride gone in for advertising?
The only cards that really count
Are that extremely small amount
From real friends who keep in touch
And are not rich but love us much
Some ways indeed are very odd
By which we hail the birth of God.
We raise the price of things in shops,
We give plain boxes fancy tops
And lines which traders cannot sell
Thus parcell'd go extremely well
We dole out bribes we call a present
To those to whom we must be pleasant
For business reasons. Our defence is
These bribes are charged against expenses
And bring relief in Income Tax
Enough of these unworthy cracks!
'The time draws near the birth of Christ'.
A present that cannot be priced
Given two thousand years ago
Yet if God had not given so
He still would be a distant stranger
And not the Baby in the manger.
— John Betjeman, Collected Poems. John Murray: 2003.
as your kingdom dawns,
turn us from the darkness of sin to the
light of holiness,
that we may be ready to meet you
in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Korea's first native-born Catholic priest was named in honour of St Andrew, martyred at age 25, and canonised on 6 May 1984 as the Catholic patron saint of Korea.
St Andrew Kim Taegon (1822-1846).
Come, thou Fount of every blessing, words by Robert Robinson (1735-1790), tune NETTLETON, arranged for solo acoustic guitar and played by Ryan Tilby, from the album Guitar Hymns
Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.
Here I raise mine Ebenezer; (*)
hither by thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.
(*)Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, 'Thus far the Lord has helped us.'
(1 Samuel 7.12)
… and for a change of pace:
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.