Thursday 11 December

Reveal among us the light of your presence, that we may behold your power and glory.

Readings (Click the links to see the readings)

Isaiah 41.13-20 | Psalm 145.8-13 | Matthew 11.11-15 |

The Overshadow
Luci Shaw

"the power of the Most High will overshadow you" — Gospel of Luke

When we think of God, and
angels, and the Angel,
we suppose ineffable light.

So there is surprise in the air
when we see him bring to Mary,
in her lit room, a gift of darkness.

What is happening under that
huge wing of shade? In that mystery
what in-breaking wildness fills her?

She is astonished and afraid; even in
that secret twilight she bends her head,
hiding her face behind the curtain

Of her hair; she knows that
the rest of her life will mirror
this blaze, this sudden midnight.


Blessèd are you, Sovereign God, our light and our life;
to you be glory and praise for ever!
When we turned away to darkness and chaos,
like a mother you would not forsake us.
You cried out like a woman in labour
and rejoiced to bring forth a new people.
Your living Word brings light out of darkness
and daily your Spirit renews the face of the earth,
bending our wills to the gentle rule of your love,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Blessèd be God for ever!
Celebrating common prayer.

"Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Matthew 11:11

John the Baptiser
The Beheading of St John the Baptist (1608), St John's co-Cathedral, Malta

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610) made at least eight paintings of John the Baptist, some frankly homoerotic and others shocking, such as this. It reminds us that the Advent story has its moments of horror and trouble as well as joy.

Yet … "The Lord is gracious and compassionate" (Ps 145:8) — Bridget Moses.

May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.

St Philip's Anglican Church, corner Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602