‘Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.’ (John 1:3-5)
LIGHT YOUR CANDLE AS WE BEGIN
In the beginning, Lord I was alone Like the earth before your Spirit moved over the waters. I was formless and empty and darkness filled the depths of my heart. Then, it was as if you declared ‘Let there be Light’ and out of the darkness I began to see hope like a shimmering ray of love breaking through the parting clouds at the conclusion of the night. In the beginning, Lord I was alone but when I saw you in the light I was no longer afraid. You held out your hand and though I had a choice I had no choice because to refuse was to embrace again the darkness. In the beginning, Lord I was alone now I am again a part of your creation loved, wanted, needed, family. In the light of your presence I hold out my heart that others might glimpse through it your reflection and be drawn from the darkness that I once embraced into the light of your sunrise the brightness of your face
Lord Jesus, Son of God, Saviour of the world Be the centre of all that we are, and the life that we lead
Lord Jesus, Light in this dark World, illuminate our hearts and minds Be the centre of all that we are, and the life that we lead
“He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:8)
God of Hope, we seek you. During this holy season of Advent, help us to see you in all whom we encounter.
God of Hope, we seek you. We seek you in the crude manger, a child born to save the world. May your hope be a comfort to all who long for justice.
God of Hope, we seek you. May your hope fill our hearts and grace our lips so that we might reflect your hope for all the world.
In this Advent of expectation draw us together in unity, that our praise and worship might echo in these walls and also through our lives.
In this Advent of expectation draw us together in mission, that the hope within might be the song we sing, and the melody of our lives.
In this Advent of expectation draw us together in service, that the path we follow might lead us from a stable to a glimpse of eternity.
This is Advent, the season of preparation. The shops are full of gifts that we might give or receive. Streets are decorated and choirs begin the rounds of community centres and retirement homes with their seasonal offerings of carols. As we prepare, we remember another, John the Baptist, who came to prepare the Jewish people for the arrival of Jesus. John, who would prepare a way through a call to repentance, so that hearts and souls would be ready to receive the One who was to come.
Father God, prepare our hearts not only for the celebration to come, but also for sharing that Good News with friends, family and work colleagues should opportunity arise. Grant us courage and a real willingness to talk about the love that came down to earth and walked among us. Amen
This Sunday and throughout Avent the Moderators evening prayers take a pause.
Please join us in a short moment of communal prayer, lifting our thoughts voices and prayers combined together upwards to God
As our Advent journey has begun, lighting the first Candle today, thr candle of hope, let us remember and rejoice in the hope that is Christ Jesus.
Let us pray
“The light shines. It is not overwhelmed by the night.” (John 1:5 paraphrase)
Jesus, as we begin Advent, we pray for your light to shine, especially for folks experiencing difficult times or missing a loved one who has died. We think of NHS workers and ask that they not be overwhelmed this cold and flu season. We think of the bereaved and ask that your light shine on the good memories, so that grief does not overwhelm. Help us to get through this winter together. Amen.
God, in your great goodness, hear our prayers for all who suffer: suffering from Covid 19, whether it be short or long, suffering from fear of getting sick, suffering from treatment or investigation delayed, suffering from exhaustion and overwork in all avenues of caring, suffering from the burdens of decision-making and tough choices, suffering from loss and grief unending. We, so fragile, pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Tonight (21 November), Christians across the country – and further afield – will continue to join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.
As with previous weeks during lockdown, 15 Christian churches and organisations across the country, including the Church of Scotland, have co-signed the letter calling for prayer.
Scottish Christians have been continuing to answer the call to pray at the same time each week, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Lord Wallace, is taking part alongside them.
“We should always be mindful for the wisdom handed down to us from past generations; much of it learned the hard way, from mistakes made and consequences suffered,” Lord Wallace said.
“So, too, we are grateful for the richness that comes to us from living alongside people of other traditions. In our day and generation we must surely allow our minds and hearts to be open so that we can risk getting to know them and learning from them.
“In this pandemic, our responsibility is to come together and offer our prayers for all the many diverse expressions of our Christian faith that enrich life, as we have done for many months now.
“Let us not forget that behind each death there will be grieving family and friends; behind each hospitalisation there will be a suffering patient, an anxious family and a caring and skilled medical team.
“And behind each vaccination, let us recognise, with thanks, the skill of the scientists’ research and those who make distribution and vaccination possible. Let us remember, too, those in countries who still wait anxiously for vaccines to arrive. May our leaders respond imaginatively and generously to that challenge.
“A pattern has been set for us, lived out in Jesus Christ, made possible by the Spirit. May we follow in His way, and be guided by the one over-riding rule of love in all that we say and do.”
“‘So you are a king?’ We can picture the scene as Jesus stands before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. Pilate asks: ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’
“In response, Jesus speaks of a kingdom ‘not from this world’ and ‘not from here’. Pilate, perhaps perplexed, asks: ‘So you are a king?’ (John 18: 33-37)
“In the exchange between Pilate and Jesus, we sense the contrasting understandings of what a ‘king’ will be and what a ‘kingdom’ will look like. We can well imagine that Pilate had a clear understanding of what these were at that time.
“However, when faced by a Jesus whose kingdom is ‘not from this world’, Pilate struggles to comprehend how he might be a ‘king’.
“Nevertheless, in time, Pilate will crucify: ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews’. (John 19: 19)
“The Jesus who is present before Pilate is a King whose Kingdom is to come and is already present in his life lived out in this world.
“We respond in faith to the King who is present in our midst, crowned with thorns and robed in purple, and pray that the Kingdom will come…”
Lord, who reigns on high And who is robed in majesty, We see Your Son come amongst us As a King whose kingdom is not from this world. May we respond to His presence With faith and trust as we pray for the kingdom that is to come. Lord, in Your mercy Hear our prayer.
Lord, who reigns on high And who is robed in majesty, We see Your Son come amongst us As the One who very life is a sign of the kingdom. May we recognise the signs of the kingdom in our midst And live as those who await its coming with expectation. Lord, in Your mercy Hear our prayer.
Lord, who reigns on high And who is robed in majesty, We see Your Son come amongst us As a King whose reign resembles not the rulers of this world. May we follow in His way And seek to live in the light of His coming kingdom. Lord, in Your mercy Hear our prayer.
Lord, who reigns on high And who is robed in majesty, We see Your Son come amongst us As the bearer of truth and as the light of the world. May Christ the King reign amongst His people And His way be known to all who seek Him in spirit and in truth. Lord, in Your mercy Hear our prayer.