We have an audio file today from Michael Lee - a poem in which he finds some resonation during Advent. The photo is of an earlier time preparing for the Christmas season with two of his great-nieces and great-nephew.
Daily Reading Isaiah 40.1-11 40Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5 Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ 6 A voice says, ‘Cry out!’ And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’ All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever. 9 Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings;* lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,* lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’ 10 See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.
Matthew 18.12-14 12 What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14So it is not the will of your* Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
Prayer for the day: A Prayer for Refugees Almighty and merciful God, whose Son became a refugee and had no place to call his own; look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger, homeless and hungry. Bless those who work to bring them relief; inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts; and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in your Kingdom of justice and of peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Also this App from the Church of England offers daily reflections - click here
The words to the poem: A Poem by St. John of the Cross, circa 1578. Translation by M.A. Lee Deep in the darkest of nights, Inflamed with desire and love, Oh what a fortunate sight! Unnoticed, I left my home, Which was already quite still,
In darkness, yet in safety, Right down a secret staircase, Oh what a fortunate sight! In darkness and in disguise, My home already quite still,
In the happiest of nights, Secretly, quite unnoticed, Not looking at anything, Having no lamp or leader, Than the burning in my mind,
Which was a much better guide, Than the bright sun at midday, To where was waiting for me, A person I knew so well, In a quite deserted place,
Oh blessed night that guided, Lovelier than break of day! Oh blessed night that has joined Lover to the beloved, Made lover of beloved!