Advent (On a theme by Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
Look how long
the weary world waited,
locked in its lonely cell,
guilty as a prisoner.
As you can imagine,
it sang and whistled in the dark.
It hoped. It paced and puttered about,
tidying its little piles of inconsequence.
It wept from the weight of ennui,
draped like shackles on its wrists.
It raged and wailed against the walls
of its own plight.
But there was nothing
the world could do
to find its own freedom.
The door was shut tight.
It could only be opened
from the outside.
Who could believe the latch
would be turned by a pink flower —
the tiny hand
of a newborn baby?
O Lord our God,
make us watchful and keep us faithful
as we await the coming of your Son our Lord;
that, when he shall appear,
he may not find us sleeping in sin
but active in his service
and joyful in his praise;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Justice, mercy and peace
The number of people in prison in Australia is increasing faster than population growth. The great majority of prisoners come from impoverished circumstances, often experiencing multiple disadvantage.
St Philip's local mission project this year is the Chaplaincy at the ACT's Alexander Maconochie Correctional Centre ACT. The Chaplaincy unit is under the guidance of the Reverend Canon Simon Wooldridge.
"Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path …" Psalm 27.11.
Book cover by Natalie Cox Janes, for While We Wait: Living the Questions of Advent by Mary Lou Redding. Upper Room, 2002.
Psalm 27, "Mijn licht, mijn heil is Hij, mijn God en Here".
Kerkdienst Hervormde Kerk, Samenzang Zeerijp, Netherlands
(Don't bother much with the pictures, just turn up the volume!)
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.