Monday 16 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)

Numbers 24.2-7, 15-17 | Psalm 25.4-10 | Matthew 21.23-27 |


From The Four Gospels of the Lord Jesus Christ, according to the Authorized Version of King James I, illustrated by Eric Gill (1882-1940). The Golden Cockerel Press, 1931), p.137. The Royal Collection.
Christmas, by John Betjeman

The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hookers Green.

The holly in the windy hedge
And round the Manor House the yew
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that the villagers can say
'The church looks nice' on Christmas Day.

Provincial Public Houses blaze,
Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze,
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says 'Merry Christmas to you all'.

And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.

And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children's hearts are glad.
And Christmas-morning bells say 'Come!'
Even to shining ones who dwell
Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.

And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,
A Baby in an ox's stall ?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me ?

And is it true ? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare —
That God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.


O Lord,
kindle in us the fire of your Spirit
that when your Christ comes again
we may shine as lights before his face;
who is alive and reigns now and for ever.

Edvard Evers and Gustaf Nordqvist (Sweden, 1921). Jul, jul, strålande jul. Zero8 Chorus, Stockholm.

Jul, jul, strålande jul
Glans över vita skogar
Himmelens kronor med gnistrande ljus
Glimmande bågar i alla Guds hus
Psalm som är sjungen från tid till tid
Eviga längtan till ljus och frid
Jul, jul, strålande jul
Glans över vita skogar.

Christmas, Christmas, glorious Christmas
Gloss over white forests
The crowns of the sky with sparkling light
Shining arches in all houses of God
Hymns that are sung from time to time
Eternal desire for light and peace
Christmas, Christmas, brilliant Christmas
Gloss over white forests

Kom, kom, signade jul
Sänk dina vita vingar
Över stridernas blod och larm
Över all suckan ur människobarm
Över de släkten som gå till ro
Över de ungas dagande bo
Kom, kom, signade jul
Sänk dina vita vingar.

Come, come, special Christmas
Lower your white wings
Over the blood and alarm of the battles
Over cry for human mercy
Over the families that go to rest
Over the days of when young people
Come, come, special Christmas
Lower your white wings.

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