Tuesday 1 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 11.1-10 | Ps 72.1-7 | Luke 10.21-24

Advent Hands (extracts)
—Catherine Alder

I see the hands of Joseph.
… It is these rough hands that will open
and be the first to hold the Child.

I see the hands of John,
… Go now, John, and open your hands to him.
It is time."

I see a fist held tight and fingers blanched to white.
Prying is no easy task.
These fingers find a way of pulling back to old positions,
protecting all that was and is.
Blanched to white. No openness. All fright.
But then the Spirit comes.
A holy Christmas dance begins
and blows between the twisted paths.
This fist opens
the twisted fingers letting go.
Their rock-solid place in line has eased.
And one by one the fingers lift
True color is returned
And through the deepest of mysteries,
The holiest of holies,
O longing of longings
Beyond all human imagining
this fist,
as if awakened from Lazarus' cold stone dream
reaches out to hold the tiny newborn hand of God.


In this season of Advent, dear God,
for the sake of new life,
let me look ahead with courage and love.
Let me act not from fear, but from faith.
Out of my impatient nature,
may I do nothing to rush this birth,
but give it time for wholeness.
Grant me the patience to wait.
In The Courtyard

"A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. … On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious. " Isaiah 11.1-2,10.


Jesse tree from Capuchin's Bible, c. 1180, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris

Johnny Cash. "Peace in the Valley." Billy Graham Crusade, Dallas, Texas, 1971. Written in 1937 by Thomas A. Dorsey, originally for Mahalia Jackson.

"…the bear will be gentle
And the wolf will be tame
And the lion shall lay down beside the lamb, yes he will
And the beasts from the wild
Will be led by a little child …" (Isaiah 11.6-8).

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