Thursday 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 26.1-6 | Psalm 118.19-25 | Matthew 7.21-27 |

Advent Carol
Julie Stoner

Hush that anguished hymn you're humming:
"Come, O Come, Emmanuel."
Trumpet Christmas!
Fix his coming firmly at "The First Nowell."

He's already come in glory!
Why plead, "Saviour, come at last"?
Let's talk Christmas! Tell a story
safely in the distant past.

Drown out John the Baptist. Edit
out "Prepare! Make straight the way!"
Cut to Christmas! Buy on credit.
Square things up another day.

Advent's dreary. Let's start living
Christmas now!
Wear red and green!
While we're at it, skip Thanksgiving!
Deck the halls at Halloween!

Then, when the Incarnate Verb
overnight becomes passé,
carry Christmas to the curb.
Pack the Prince of Peace away.

First Things 198, Dec. 2009, p. 39.


You challenge us this Advent time
This season of preparation
To put aside our pride
And understand our need
For repentance
And mercy
Less of self
More of you
Preparation for our journey
To the stable and beyond
Purify our hearts
Sanctify our lives
That we might serve you
Faithfully this day and all days. Amen

1 December is World AIDS Day.

Jan Hynes. Bonding time: the Nativity in Townsville, 2007.

James MacMillan Dominus dabit from the Strathclyde Motets. Maîtrise de l'Académie Vocale de Paris, dir. Iain Simcock. Église de Saint Merry, Paris, 2010.

Etenim Dominus dabit benignitatem,
et terra nostra dabit fructum suum.
The Lord shall show loving-kindness:
and our land shall give her increase. (Psalm 85.12)


Christmas is the Christian's Christmas present to everybody else. Christmas, for a Christian tells us why people matter. They matter because God took us seriously, seriously enough to get involved with our lives to suffer with us and change things. That's what I believe, that's what Christians believe and Christmas exists because of that belief. You may or may not believe that; you may think people matter for other reasons, but never mind; that's what we're saying and that's our present, that's our gift to the rest of the world. So; think of this time as a time to recall why people matter; the people with AIDS and HIV that we're thinking of today, the people who are under threat in Pakistan, whose lives are at risk, the people here around us who need love and attention and care, they matter and it matters how we react to them. I've got an answer I think to why they matter, it may or may not be yours, but I'm glad to be able to share it with you on behalf of the Church. I'm glad to be here and to wish you all the very best, and the most Blessed Christmas you could possibly have, because you matter too.—
—Rowan Williams. Christmas tells us why people matter: remarks delivered at the switching on of the Lambeth Council Christmas lights, 1 December 2005 (World AIDS Day).

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

Prayers used in this 2016 Advent Calendar are © John Birch, 2016, at and used with permission under a Creative Commons Licence.
St Philip's Anglican Church, corner Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602