Tuesday 6 December — The Feast of St Nicholas

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 40.1-11 | Psalm 96.7-13 | Matthew 18.12-14 |

Lorenzo Monaco (Piero di Giovanni), Florence (?) The Nativity c. 1406–10. Tempera on wood, gold ground

Two Songs of Advent
Yvor Winters

On the desert, between pale mountains, our cries;
Far wispers creeping through an ancient shell.

Coyote, on delicate mocking feet,
Hovers down the canyon, among the mountains
His voice running wild in the wind's valleys.

Listen! Listen! For I now enter your thought
—Poetry, December 1920, p. 142.


For your faithful prophets
And your Living Word
We give you thanks. Amen.


When God comes among us, he doesn't first of all clear humanity out of the way so that he can take over; he becomes a human being. He doesn't force his way in to dominate and crush; he announces his arrival in the sharp, hungry cry of a newborn baby. He changes the world not by law and threat but by death and resurrection. … He comes in stillness. He comes in dependency and weakness. He comes by God's absolutely free gift. Yet he comes from the heart of our own human world and life, from the womb of a mother, from the free love of Mary's heart given to God in trust. And this is mysteriously the same thing as his 'coming down from heaven'. He is utterly different, the human being who lives God's own life; he is utterly the same, like us in all things, as the Bible says.

The manner of his coming tells us so many things—but not the least is that human nature, bruised and disfigured as it is by sin, is still capable of bearing the life of God. In the birth of God in flesh and blood, we see what we were made to be—carriers of divine love. And with this birth we begin our journey back to where we belong, back to God, back to what we were made to be. To live in peace and delight with God does not mean that our humanity has first to undergo such radical surgery that it barely seems human any more, that our nature has to be beaten into submission by a divine aggressor. He came all so still; he came to his own.
—Rowan Williams, Christmas Sermon, 2003

Nowell sing we both all and some, anonymous c15th English carol.
Performed by Lumina Vocal Ensemble, Christ Church, North Adelaide, 2012

Nowell sing we both all and some
Now Rex pacificus is ycome.

Ex ortum est in love and liss,
now Christ his grace he gan us giss,
and with his body us bought to bliss
both all and some.

Nowell sing we both all and some
Now Rex pacificus is ycome.

De fructu ventris of Mary bright
both God and man in her alight,
out of disease he did us dight
both all and some.

Nowell sing we both all and some
Now Rex pacificus is ycome.

Gloria tibi ay and bliss;
God unto his grace he us wiss,
the rent of heaven that we not miss
both all and some.

Nowell sing we both all and some
Now Rex pacificus is ycome.

2015–2024 is International Decade for People of African Descent.

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

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