18 december

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.

Photo on the top of this page was taken from the article “Current Prospects and Continued Importance of the Two-State Solution” on the Baker Institute website


By Naomi Shihab Nye

“Let’s be the same wound if we must bleed.
Let’s fight side by side, even if the enemy
is ourselves: I am yours, you are mine.”

-Tommy Olofsson, Sweden

I’m not interested in
Who suffered the most.
I’m interested in
People getting over it.

Once when my father was a boy
A stone hit him on the head.
Hair would never grow there.
Our fingers found the tender spot
and its riddle: the boy who has fallen
stands up. A bucket of pears
in his mother’s doorway welcomes him home.
The pears are not crying.
Later his friend who threw the stone
says he was aiming at a bird.
And my father starts growing wings.

Each carries a tender spot:
something our lives forgot to give us.
A man builds a house and says,
“I am native now.”
A woman speaks to a tree in place
of her son. And olives come.
A child’s poem says,
“I don’t like wars,
they end up with monuments.”
He’s painting a bird with wings
wide enough to cover two roofs at once.

Why are we so monumentally slow?
Soldiers stalk a pharmacy:
big guns, little pills.
If you tilt your head just slightly
it’s ridiculous.

There’s a place in my brain
Where hate won’t grow.
I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds.
Something pokes us as we sleep.

It’s late but everything comes next.

“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”

O come, O come, Emmanuel
To free your captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the son of god appear

Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel
To you shall come Emmanuel

O veni, veni Emmanuel
Captivum solve Israel
Qui gemit in exilio
Privates Dei Filio

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel

Gaude! Gaude
Gaude! Gaude
Gaude! Gaude
Gaude! Gaude

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel

7 Prayers for the Advent

By Reverend Henry Keys


Lord God, we remember that the child coming into the world at Christmas brought light into darkness. 
We remember that You asked us to be light too.

So this day we pray for the dark places where many are forced to live.  For the darkness of Shanty towns where lives are blighted by crime, poverty and disease. 
We pray that You will empower those who try to bring light – those who speak out courageously against corruption; those who befriend the marginalised.

We pray for those in our communities who suffer the darkness of mental illness- for those who are overwhelmed by anxieties, who feel unable to cope with life-, for those who feel suicidal despair – for others who cannot break free from addictions. 
Lord bring Your light and hope through NHSstaff, social workers, community leaders and churches and through each of us as individuals

May the light of Christmas break through. 
May burdens be lifted and spirits renewed through Jesus Christ our Lord


“Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have,
and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone.
But it is also securing the space for others to contribute
the best that they have and all that they are.”

Hafsat Abiola,
Nigerian human rights activist

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