Day Ten — 3 January 2016 — The Second Sunday after Christmas

The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. O come, let us worship. Alleluia

Readings (Click the links to see the readings)

Jeremiah 31.7-14 | Psalm 147.12-20 | Ephesians 3.1-14 | John 1.10-18 |


"He gives snow like wool. He scatters frost like ashes." (Psalm 147.16). Denali National Park, photo: James Kim.

Beautiful Star of Bethelehem. Mark O'Connor's "An Appalachian Christmas" on tour (Dec 2014). Mark O'Connor (violin), Carrie Rodgriquez (violin and vocals), Cia Cherryholmes (banjo and vocals), Forrest O'Connor (mandolin and vocals), Joe Smart (guitar), Kyle Kegerreis (bass).

Christmas Day. The Family Sitting.
John Meade Falkner (1858-1922)

In the days of Caesar Augustus
   There went forth this decree:
Si quis rectus et justus
   Liveth in Galilee,
Let him go up to Jerusalem
   And pay his scot to me.

There are passed one after the other
   Christmas fifty-three,
Since I sat here with my mother
   And heard the great decree:
How they went up to Jerusalem
   Out of Galilee.

They have passed one after the other;
   Father and mother died,
Brother and sister and brother
   Taken and sanctified.
I am left alone in the sitting,
   With none to sit beside.

On the fly-leaves of these old prayer-books
   The childish writings fade,
Which show that once they were their books
   In the days when prayer was made
For other kings and princesses,
   William and Adelaide.

The pillars are twisted with holly,
   And the font is wreathed with yew.
Christ forgive me for folly,
   Youth's lapses not-a-few,
For the hardness of my middle life,
   For age's fretful view.

Cotton-wool letters on scarlet,
   All the ancient lore,
Tell how the chieftains starlit
   To Bethlehem came to adore;
To hail Him King in the manger,
   Wonderful, Counsellor.

The bells ring our in the steeple
   The gladness of erstwhile,
And the children of other people
   Are walking up the aisle;
They brush my elbow in passing,
   Some turn to give me a smile.

Is the almond-blossom bitter?
   Is the grasshopper heavy to bear?
Christ make me happier, fitter
   To go to my own over there:
Jerusalem the Golden,
   What bliss beyond compare!

My Lord, where I have offended
   Do Thou forgive it me.
That so when, all being ended,
   I hear Thy last decree,
I may go up to Jerusalem
   Out of Galilee.


God of love, Father of all,
the darkness that covered the earth
has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh.
Make us a people of this light.
Make us faithful to your Word
that we may bring your life to the waiting world.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
—International Committee on English in the Liturgy

May the Lord, who has called out of darkness into his marvellous light, bless us and fill us with peace. Amen.

St Philip's Anglican Church,
cnr Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602.