Monday 16 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)

Zephaniah 3:1-13 | Psalm 34:15-22 | Matthew 21:28-32

John Betjeman

The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hookers Green.

The holly in the windy hedge
And round the Manor House the yew
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that the villagers can say
'The church looks nice' on Christmas Day.

Provincial Public Houses blaze,
Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze,
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says 'Merry Christmas to you all'.

And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.

And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children's hearts are glad.
And Christmas-morning bells say 'Come!'
Even to shining ones who dwell
Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.

And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,
A Baby in an ox's stall ?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me ?

And is it true ? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare —
That God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.


O Lord,
kindle in us the fire of your Spirit
that when your Christ comes again
we may shine as lights before his face;
who is alive and reigns now and for ever.

Bread and wine
Abraham Guntz, Still life with bread and wine, Brasov, Romania, 2004.

"God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine."

’Taste and see’ (Psalm 34.8), by James E. Moore (1951 - ). Communion Anthem sung at Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C., 1 August 2010

Taste and see.
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
O taste and see.
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord, of the Lord.

I will bless the Lord at all times.
His praise shall always be on my lips;
my soul shall glory in the Lord;
for he has been so good to me.

Glorify the Lord with me.
Together let us all praise his name.
I called the Lord and he answered me;
from all my troubles he set me free.

Worship the Lord all you people.
You’ll want for nothing if you ask.
Taste and see that God is good;
in him we need put all our trust.

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