If you have a window or a Notice Board nearby, please request a poster to display it. Because of the vaccine we are, perhaps, saying to ourselves that the light of Jesus is now shining brighter than it has been for months due to COVID-19. Whatever went through our minds during that time there was never a belief that we wouldn’t see that light again. Remember what we read from John’s Gospel chapter 1 v5 we can look back in wonder if we remind ourselves what lighting the ADVENT CANDLES really means: “The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has never overcome it.”
Firstly, we say in prayer, God of all hope shine your light on the story of the Saints who journeyed before us. May the seed that they planted in the world, seeds of peace, joy and love take hold in our hearts and stretch towards the light. We look now at Psalm 5. In the beginning, David is remembering his own sins and those of others but as he cries to God there is a different feeling in his mind. Verse 11 says, “Let all who take refuge in you ever sing for joy” and we think about one of the Advent hopes: “We light a candle for peace and pray for the courage to stand up for it. As the waiting and expectation deepen our desire for peace, like the wise called to journey in those early dawning days, may we seek, strive and search for peace.”
Each of the Saints of old have their own journey story. Today we have a very shortened story of St. Brendan. Born in AD 489 in Tralee, SW Ireland, he was brought up on the stories of Noah, Moses and Jonah. He travelled with the Lord instead of searching for Him. To him, Jesus was a pioneer, the way, the truth and the life. Throughout his life he was looking for the Island of Promise and even though he didn’t find it, he died aged 90 and then put his foot on the true Island of Promise. This is like the story of an old climber who set off to climb a mountain in freezing cold. When questioned about getting there he said, “My heart is there already so others can follow”.
PRAYERSWhere we are at the present time is part of our spiritual journey or you might call it your voyage. Recently we have all been tested on our lives and how we have coped with the changes made for us. When we look at Lisa’s poster, do we see the light shining for us and leading us on in our new lives? Do we celebrate Jesus who also had a difficult life and a terrible death in giving Himself for us, and are our hearts already where our Lord Jesus Christ is, watching over us all the times of our lives?
I know that you are all wondering about the futures of our Chapels so join me in prayer each day:
Heavenly Father, we praise and worship you, and we try to be positive about the future. We pray that we will be able to open the Chapels for services again. We pray for Long Itchington and the repairs that are needed. And we pray for both congregations to be able to sing with joy and praise to You Lord, as it says in the Psalm, and as in Psalm 66 to shout with joy and sing the glory of God’s name. The Psalm speaks to us saying, “Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds, so great is your power. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you.”
We pray in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We move in prayer to the Holy Spirit who is our comforter, our counsellor, our help in times of need. We pray for all the children who have been brought before you in the chapels. Some will be in other churches, some in other lands, some who have faith in you and others who have none. Father, Son and Holy Spirit hear our prayers and guide us and all who might be open to a call to serve you in either of our chapels. Amen