John 15:10-12
” If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”.

Gracious God, as we look at these knitted angels, boxed ready to be delivered to a local care home, we thank you for all those who have lovingly knitted them and the joy they will bring to those who receive them. And today Lord, we lift before You and give thanks for all the amazing people who ensure that our nursing and care homes are infiltrated with joy, even through this immensely challenging time; from carers, to cooks, to cleaners, to activity coordinators, to anyone who ensures that those in their care are loved and looked after with dignity and respect. And so too, we pray for all the residents and their families who have been deeply saddened at not being able to spend time with one another. We pray that whatever the regulations this Christmas time, Your love and presence will be felt in these communities and that there will be a sense of joy and peace as the birth of Your Son is celebrated. Finally Lord God, we give thanks for the joy of the production of a Covid 19 vaccine and pray that those most vulnerable in our society, and those who care for them, will be able to receive it soon. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.



Gracious God, at the start of Advent week 3, as we focus upon Joy, we are reminded of Your great commandment to us, that we must love one another, as You have loved us. Lord God, we know that there are many who will struggle to feel a sense of joy this Christmas for different reasons. We think especially of those who will grieve the loss of loved ones, those who will be in hospital, those who will lack the security of a warm home, those who are anxious for whatever reason. And yet, amidst all this you speak of joy, the joy that comes from an assurance of Your love, and You command us to care for one another, to let Your love be known and experienced in a very real way. And so, as we continue to journey through Advent, help us to remember Your words spoken to us and to reach out, in any way we can, to those in need of Your love this Christmas, and may we experience the reality of that love in our lives, so that we too may feel a sense of joy. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen


Peace John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”.
Gracious God, that first Christmas, over 2,000 years ago, a child was born who brought hope into our world. He understood the things in our lives that destroy our sense of peace and as He grew to be a man, He sought ways to restore our relationship with You, and with one another. He taught us to build communities rooted in equality and justice, compassion and understanding, mutual respect and forgiveness. His name was Jesus and He is the Prince of Peace. Lord God, as we move into the third week of Advent, help us to make the space to prepare to celebrate the birth of Your Son, Jesus Christ, remembering the message of hope he brought, as we journey to the manger and seek to follow Him. In His name, the name of Jesus we pray, let there be peace. Amen.

Peace John 14:272021-01-21T15:24:23+00:00

Peace John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”.
Gracious God, as we come to You in prayer this Thursday morning, we pray for a sense of peace for all our NHS workers as they continue to take care of the health of our nation. We know that our NHS is always under pressure, particularly in the winter months, but we appreciate that this year the challenges are even more difficult as they continue to deal with Covid 19, amidst all other health concerns, and now face the added pressure of the logistics of a vaccination programme. We continue to give grateful thanks for all our NHS workers and we pray for their physical and mental well-being. May the power of Your Holy Spirit give energy, assurance, comfort and a sense of peace to all those who will care for the needs of others this day and in the days to come.
So too Lord, as we see an increase in cases of Covid 19 in some of our local schools, we pray for all staff working to ensure our children are educated and cared for, amidst this challenging climate. We appreciate the anxiety felt by staff at this time and again, we give grateful thanks for their dedication to the nurturing of our children. We pray for a sense of peace and assurance within every staffroom, and within our schools.
God of peace, may the power of Your love be felt in our communities today. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Peace John 14:272021-01-21T15:24:43+00:00

Peace John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”.
Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, we take a moment to come before you and quieten and calm our thoughts. Help us to trust that you will walk with us, to help us deal with the matters of the day ahead. Please give us peace of mind and a sense of Your very being, assured of Your presence with us and Your love for us. In a moment of silence we turn our thoughts to You and we take our strength from You.
And now, Lord God, we lift before You anyone we are concerned about this day. As we utter their name upon our lips, we place them into the safety and security of Your hands. In Your name we pray, let there be peace. Amen.

Peace John 14:272021-01-21T15:25:06+00:00

Peace John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”.
God of Grace, today we pray for all the places in our world where there is war or conflict, where people are denied peace. We think especially of families displaced from their homes, for children who cannot play in safety or attend school, for those who lack food and shelter, for communities who live in fear, for those who live with injury and those who grieve the loss of loved ones. We remember when Your Son, Jesus Christ said, ‘Blessed be the peacemakers’. And so we pray for all those seeking to bring peace into the lives of others, for those who seek to alleviate suffering and bring a resolution to conflicts. Lord God, where there is darkness, we ask that Your light will shine, where there is no peace, we pray that Your love will be revealed. In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace we pray, Amen.

Peace John 14:272021-01-21T15:25:32+00:00

Peace John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”.
God of Grace, as we lit our second Advent Candle of peace yesterday, we lift before you this morning, all those, including ourselves, whose peace may be disrupted this week. We think about those who cannot settle for anxiety of financial concerns, those who cannot rest because of pain they are experiencing, those who cannot relax because of the presence of conflict in their homes, for those waiting for news of some sort who struggle to be patient, for those whose minds simply will not settle because of a worry that is gnawing away. Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, You came into our world to give us an assurance of the peace of God which goes beyond our understanding. And so, for all those experiencing a lack of peace this week, we pray for Your assurance, we pray for Your compassion, but most of all we pray for the knowledge of Your presence alongside us in every situation. May the power of being loved by You bring peace into our lives in the days ahead, Amen.

Peace John 14:272021-01-21T15:26:12+00:00


Thanks to Helen Ince for these two acrostics about hope










Advent Reflection: Hope

Thanks to Elizabeth Cumberlidge for this reflection

Read Matthew 1:18-23

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life John 3:16 (NIV)

At the beginning of Advent, I brought my nativity set of the attic to put on display and was sad to find that many of the figures were broken.  The angel had only half a wing, the shepherd was missing a hand, a wise man had no foot and the donkey had one lone ear.  Only baby Jesus was intact and appeared unharmed.  I’m not sure what happened, the figures were fine when I packed them away last January.

Initially I thought of purchasing a new nativity set.  Then I realised that maybe God had a message for me.  We are all broken people.  But God can accomplish great works through us.  When we repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness, God can give us new life despite our brokenness.  Jesus’ birth was all about bringing new life to the world.

I think that I will continue to display my imperfect nativity set as a reminder of God’s great love for me.  God loves us so much that Jesus came to take on the brokenness of this world by being born as a tiny baby.  Through Jesus’ willingness to live a human life, we have the hope of eternal life.  Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for loving us so much that you sent Jesus into the world so that we can have eternal life. Amen

Thought for the day: Though I am broken, God loves me and can use me to accomplish great things.

Susan L. Stombaugh

Advent Reflection: Hope2021-01-21T15:26:56+00:00

Romans 15:13

“May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”
Gracious God, as we come to the end of a week of reflections upon Hope, we remind ourselves of the Hope You promise us, the promise of eternal life in Your presence where nothing can separate us from Your love. Lord God, as we find ourselves in this time of challenge and insecurity, help us to have the faith to continue to believe and trust in Your promise. Creator God, there are many in our communities who for different reasons do not feel loved, valued or cared for. Help us to reach out the hand of friendship and compassion to those who need. So too Lord, give us the courage, the conviction and the creativity to let them know that You, our almighty creator God, loves them too. Give us the opportunity and enthusiasm to tell people about the birth of Your Son and how on the night that He was born, Love came into our world, Love was born. In the name of Jesus, the child in the manger, we pray, Amen.

Romans 15:132021-01-21T15:27:19+00:00
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