Thursday 24 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)

2 Samuel 7.1-5, 8-11, 16 | Ps 89.19-29 | Luke 1.67-69

Sint Jans

Geertgen tot Sint Jans. The Nativity at Night (c.1480).
National Gallery, London.


Almighty God,
you make us glad with the yearly remembrance
of the birth of your Son Jesus Christ:
grant that, as we joyfully receive him as our redeemer,
so we may with sure confidence behold him
when he shall come to be our judge;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Scott Cairns

Deep within the clay, and O my people
very deep within the wholly earthen
compound of our kind arrives of one clear,
star-illumined evening a spark igniting
once again the ember of our lately
banked noetic fire. She burns but she
is not consumed. The dew falls gently,
suffusing the pure fleece. Her human flesh
adorns its Lord, and lo, the wall comes down.
And—do you feel the pulse?—we all become
the kindled kindred of a King whose birth
thereafter bears to all a bright nativity.

—from "Three Christmas Poems,"
Huffington Post, 13 Dec 2012


The Nativity
—John O'Donohue.

No man reaches where the moon touches a woman.
Even the moon leaves her when she opens
Deeper into the ripple in her womb
That encircles dark to become flesh and bone.

Someone is coming ashore inside her.
A face deciphers itself from water
And she curves around the gathering wave,
Opening to offer the life it craves.

In a corner stall of pilgrim strangers,
She falls and heaves, holding a tide of tears.
A red wire of pain feeds through every vein
Until night unweaves and the child reaches dawn.

Outside each other now, she sees him first.
Flesh of her flesh, her dreamt son safe on earth,

—from Conamara Blues. London: Bantam, 2000.

"Rejoice, O Judah, and, in songs divine,
With cherubim and seraphim harmonious join!
Hallelujah! Amen."

G. F. Händel. "Hallelujah! Amen," from Judas Maccabaeus HWV 63.
La Capilla Real de Madrid, dir. Óscar Gershensohn. Teatro Monumental de Madrid, 2008.

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