19 december

When Herod the king heard about the birth of Jesus, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.


Kahlil Gibran

The tempest calmed after bending the branches of the trees and leaning heavily upon the grain in the field.
The stars appeared as broken remnants of lightning, but now silence prevailed over all, as if Nature’s war had never been fought.

At that hour a young woman entered her chamber and knelt by her bed sobbing bitterly.
Her heart flamed with agony but she could finally open her lips and say,
‘Oh Lord, bring him home safely to me.
I have exhausted my tears and can offer no more, oh Lord, full of love and mercy.
My patience is drained and calamity is seeking possession of my heart.
Save him, oh Lord, from the iron paws of War; deliver him from such unmerciful Death, for he is weak, governed by the strong.
Oh Lord, save my beloved, who is Thine own son, from the foe, who is Thy foe.
Keep him from the forced pathway to Death’s door; let him see me, or come and take me to him.’

Quietly a young man entered. His head was wrapped in bandage soaked with escaping life.

He approached he with a greeting of tears and laughter, then took her hand and placed against it his flaming lips.
And with a voice with bespoke past sorrow, and joy of union, and uncertainty of her reaction, he said, ‘Fear me not, for I am the object of your plea.
Be glad, for Peace has carried me back safely to you, and humanity has restored what greed essayed to take from us.
Be not sad, but smile, my beloved. Do not express bewilderment, for Love has power that dispels Death; charm that conquers the enemy.
I am your one. Think me not a specter emerging from the House of Death to visit your Home of Beauty.

‘Do not be frightened, for I am now Truth, spared from swords and fire to reveal to the people the triumph of Love over War.
I am Word uttering introduction to the play of happiness and peace.’

Then the young man became speechless and his tears spoke the language of the heart; and the angels of Joy hovered about that dwelling, and the two hearts restored the singleness which had been taken from them.

At dawn the two stood in the middle of the field contemplating the beauty of Nature injured by the tempest.
After a deep and comforting silence, the soldier said to his sweetheart,
‘Look at the Darkness, giving birth to the Sun.’

Od yavo’ shalom aleinu

Peace will come upon us
Salaam or Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu is a peace song by Mosh Ben-Ari, composed while he was in the band Sheva.
It is sung in Hebrew and Arabic and has gained popularity in Israeli folk music, especially within the context of the Arab–Israeli conflict.

Od yavo shalom aleinu
Peace will come upon us, yet.

Ve’al kulam
And upon everyone.


Aleinu ve’al kol ha olam
Upon us and upon the whole world.

7 Prayers for the Advent

By Reverend Henry Keys


Loving Lord,

We pray for those in our communities who feel unable to care for their families.
Those who are trapped by debts.
Parents struggling to put food on the table for their children.
For parents  who feel pressured by advertisements and peer pressure to buy presents they cannot afford for their children.

We pray for those who are caring for older folk or those with special needs and who have little support or respite.

Lord give us a sympathetic ear and an open heart to bring comfort and practical help.

We pray for some who have “freedom from pain and ill”  at the top of their Christmas list.  For those who will spend Christmas in hospital or in discomfort at home. We ask for Your presence ,  Your love and Your healing.

Thank You for care workers, for the Foodbank and for community nurses and social workers.  And show each of us today where we can make a difference and bring Your blessing.


“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

Maya Angelou

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