Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Christmas 2017 - Afterwards....

Day 26 - ... and afterwards?

Reading: Luke 2:19

This babe at my breast: this promise from God, this little one: what a start he's had! It seems like the whole town wanted to see him, especially after what those shepherds said. And I'm sure that there will be more visitors soon. But for now, it's just us: Mary, Jesus, and Joseph at the door. Faithful Joseph, though I don't think he really understands. Then again, do I understand? It seems like a lifetime ago that the Angel spoke to me; told me that the Son of God would be nurtured by my body. But in a stable? And people will talk; think Joseph should have got rid of me, wonder who the father really is. And yet, even now I don't doubt it. It's not going to be easy, this journey; and once the dust has settled a bit I think we're going to find that out. But God is with me, His Son is also my son, and I will put my trust in Him.

Prayer Point: Think back on the times you have known God's presence, and give thanks for them.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Christmas Day 2017

Day 25 - Christmas Joy!

Reading: Luke 2:8-20

The joy, the celebration! Mary, tired, but smiling; Joseph, looking dazed and yet happy; the visitors to the Inn, peering round to see what's happening. And then, running down the street, an untidy, smelly band of Shepherds, yelling at the tops of their voices about Angels, about a King, about a Baby, about God. Even the animals don't seem to mind that their food trough has an occupant. A new light shines in the sky, and surely it can only be a trick of that light that makes it look like the new-born himself is shining? He slumbers, the everyday miracle of new life swaddled in bands of cloth. "Are you going to name him after yourself," asks a guest from the Inn. Joseph shakes his head. His young wife raises her head: "His name is Jesus" she says, in a voice that invites no argument; Joseph meekly nods in agreement. And, just for a moment, the light seems even brighter than before as the slumbering infant sighs in contentment. Meanwhile, in the East, the Stargazers are already setting off to find the new King whose birth has been written so gloriously across the skies.....

Prayer Point: Give glory to God in the Highest! Pray peace for His people on Earth!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Advent 2017 - Day 24

Day 24 Mary (4th Sunday of Advent)

Reading: Luke 1:30-34

We're here, and only just in time. Breathe, remember to breathe. Oh, that hurts.... Joseph, where are you, why won't he let us in? Breathe.... I don't care, just so long as it's safe, at least the stable is warm.... Breathe... What was it the Angel said again? Don't be afraid? I've found favour with God? Oh, that hurts. Yet I could almost laugh. Is this what God's favour is like? Funny way to show it. Soon, little one. Soon. Breathe Mary, breathe! We're almost there.....

Prayer Point: Give thanks for those that have loved and nurtured you.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Advent 2017 - Day 23

Day 23 The Innkeeper

Reading: Luke 2:3

It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good. This Census will be good for business I'm telling you! We'll have every bed filled, and people need food and drink too of course. That's going to help pay those taxes. Though it's a headache as well - there's only so much room, and there's always those who don't have a plan when they arrive. "What if someone's really desperate?" the wife asked. No skin off my nose. Not my problem. "Tell you what," I said to her, "if they're really desperate - there's always the stable...." and I laughed!

Prayer Point: Pray for those - paid or voluntary - who will be working on Christmas Day.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Advent 2017 - Day 22

Day 22 - Preparations in the East

Reading: Matthew 2:1-2

Stargazers, dreamers, watchers of the heavens; searching for a star to steer by. Waiting for the blaze that means great events; consulting our maps and scrolls. Night after night, our eyes sweep the skies; where is the clue that we seek? We know their rising and setting, their stately dance as the seasons pass. Will we ever find our sign? Even know, is a new flame being kindled into life, ready to herald a King? We must watch and wait, and be ready. 

Prayer Point: Give Good News to those who seek it: that Christ is King.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Advent 2017 - Day 21

Day 21 - The Journey

Reading: Luke 2:5

Travel onward, Mary, your destiny awaits. The babe in your womb will soon be in your arms, but first, you must make this journey. Be strong, for journey's end will see a new beginning; be strong, for you will need your inner strength to tread that other journey - being the mother of the Messiah. One step, then another. Long miles behind, a few more ahead; the kick of a foot on your belly, another foot upon the path. You are the servant of the Lord, and you will keep faith.

Prayer Point: Pray for all those making journeys this Christmas.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Advent 2017 - Day 20

Day 20 - Getting Ready

Reading: Luke 2:3-4

Could this be happening at a worse time? All the signs were that Mary was getting close, and now they had to journey to Bethlehem. What would they need? Joseph was frantic with worry: how would they get there? How far could Mary walk in a day? What if it all happened on the way? But Mary, young as she was, seemed calm and composed. What would be would be. As he looked at her, he allowed himself a moment's comfort: if she was all right, maybe he could be too.

Prayer Point: Pray for those anxious about the coming Christmas and what it may bring them.