Sunday 6 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)

Malachi 3:1-14 | Song of Zechariah, Benedictus (APBA, p. 10) | Philippians 1:1-11 | Luke 3:1-6

(6th December is the Feast of St Nicolas, a.k.a. Santa Claus.)

December Humbug
—Jim McPherson

December's wild collective madness strikes!
We all submit like slaves to Santa's lash
and with our hearts and minds and credit cards
crown Santa as de facto Season King.

Remote from human suffering at the Pole,
he speaks to those who dream of better things
beyond injustice misery and toil
to offer tinsel hope and brittle joy:
"Just come to me, and I will bring relief
my cargo cult will save you from your grief."

I cannot soil the Incarnation's gift
with Santa's baubles or his sugared grift.

Give me the God whose feet have touched the ground
and walked with us as human as ourselves
to celebrate our joys and share our pain;
who's borne injustice hunger and fatigue
and who, foreswearing all escape, endured
our human death; and Death's defeat secured.

December's now the torment of my year;
while Santa's bogus claims assault my ears
the One we fete, who lived our living's ills,
is trampled in the rush for happy pills.
—from To Tease Our Knowing.

di Paolo

Giovanni di Paolo (Italy, c. 1399–1482). Saint John the Baptist Entering the Wilderness (c.1455-60). Art Institute of Chicago.


God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh. Make us a people of this light. Keep us faithful to your Word that we may bring your life to the waiting world. We ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.
—International Committee on English in the Liturgy.

Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah), twelth movement from The Armed Man: a mass for peace (1999), by Karl Jenkins; dedicated to victims of the Kosovo crisis.
Guy Johnston (cello), The London Philharmonic and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, conducted by Karl Jenkins. Venture CD, 2001.

Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Hosanna in excelsis.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

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