Gifts of Light and Love a Christmas Poem by Heather Jephcott

Delight filled faces lighting up

Today’s post is the last the Advent series Let Us Wait As Children Wait. This beautiful poem was written by Heather Jephcott. Heather comes from Australia but now lives in Surabaya Indonesia. She enjoys writing, especially poetry, playing the piano, friends and family, black line drawings, gardening, photography, reading. She also loves interacting with or the lack of it has got in the way at times but she’s getting better after 17 years with CFS. She never wants to be too busy for people.

It’s about giving

precious gifts

of thoughtfulness


packaged with laughter

joy accompanying smiles


Delight filled faces

light up


gifts of love

an air of happiness surrounds

pleased with the giving


A grand party of giving

with everyone included

caring for needs

attentive to likes

unselfish consideration


Surprise adds an extra specialness

child-like wonder comes to visit

discovering again

love, joy, hope and peace


Christmas Prayers for 2012

I know it is not Christmas yet but so many of us are already anticipating the day and looking for resources to celebrate with that I thought I would share these prayers with you. If you use one of them for your Christmas celebrations I would love to know about it.

Christmas prayer.001Rejoice Rejoice, Christ our Saviour is come.001


A Liturgy for Christmas by John Van de Laar



This beautiful Christmas liturgy comes from John Van de Laar. It can be downloaded from his website Sacredise.

A Liturgy for Advent and Christmas

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light – a light that will shine on 

all who live in the land where death casts its shadow…For a child is born to us, a 

son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his 

royal titles: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of 

Peace. (Isaiah 9:2 & 6)


God of Surprising Generosity and Unexpected Grace,

We have come to witness a miracle;

to prepare our hearts for a new invasion of Your Light;

We have come once again

to open our souls and our lives

to the divine birth.

And in this sacred moment we ask for Your gentle Presence

to captivate and challenge us.

For Jesus’ sake. Amen.


We Express Our Praise and Confession

We celebrate You and praise You,

God of new beginnings and surprising opportunities

Because You never cease to make Yourself available to us.

We appreciate You and thank You,

God of unquenchable life and irrepressible grace

Because You continue to offer us the resources of Your Spirit.

We love You and embrace You,

God of unfailing compassion and constant companionship

Because You walk beside us and transform us into agents of love.


Forgive us, O Lord,

When we seek to keep You to ourselves  and shut others from Your influence

Forgive us, O Christ,

When we wallow in our own weakness and take advantage of the weakness of others.

Forgive us, O Spirit,

When we deny Your friendship and withhold Your compassion from others.


Silent Confession


Heal us, restore and empower us, O God, we pray

For the sake of Your kingdom which has broken into our world.



The Lord’s Prayer may be said


We thank and praise You, O God

for You are not distant and uninvolved in our lives and our world

But, You have come to us, humbly and gently, challengingly and irresistibly.

And whoever receives You, whoever believes in You

becomes a child of God, born of the Spirit.


Silent Reflection


So, we remember Jesus’ birth and life,

His suffering and victory.

On the night before His crucifixion,

Jesus shared His last meal with His friends;

He took the loaf of bread and blessed it,

then breaking it, He offered it to them saying:

This is my body broken for you. Eat this in memory of me.

After the meal, He took the cup of wine and blessed it,

then He offered it to them saying:

This is my blood shed for you. Drink this in memory of me.

So, we eat and we drink and we remember.

With hope and joy in the new life  which comes in God’s kingdom. Amen.


God of Grace,

Come to us again in this meal,

and as we share this bread and wine,

may we share in Christ’s body and blood;

May we offer ourselves to you again,

and may we become one with Christ

and with each other – a single, unified body.



Communion is received


We thank You, Lord God,

For breaking into our world, our lives and our experience.

We thank You, O Christ,

For this meal of remembering,  and the stories of love and grace that it tells.

We thank You, O Spirit,

For Your Presence and Your challenge for us to become agents of God’s compassion.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen

We Offer our Gifts and Ourselves to God


In this moment of worship we embrace Your presence again, O God,

And we offer You our love.

In this moment of prayer

We proclaim again Your purpose for the world, O Saviour

And we offer You our resources.

In this moment of giving

We hear Your call again, O Lord

And we offer You ourselves.

Use us – all that we have and all that we are

to touch the world with the Christmas message:

God is love. God is with us. God will never leave us.


So, may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ

The Love of God  and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

Be with us all now and forever. Amen.

A Christmas Prayer for 2011

Nativity Kenyan

Nativity Kenyan

Alleluia, the waiting is over, Jesus has come,

The promised One of Christmas in now present in our midst.

May we let the chaos settle and turn from our distractions,

May we notice the places that shimmer with his presence. 


Alleluia, love comes down at Christmas,

Beloved son of God, Saviour of the world we welcome your coming.

A child born as one of us to make all things new, 

A Saviour birthed to bring righteousness and justice for all.


Watch for the signs and listen for the messengers,

Stand on tiptoe, shout for joy and trumpet the good news,

God’s miracle has come down from heaven, 

Alleluia the Christ child has come. 


May this child of Christmas come to us and give us hope,

May he grow in us and show us life, may he speak to us and teach us love,

Alleluia something new is emerging something new is being birthed, 

Jesus has come and we open our hearts to be his home.



A Prayer for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Olympic mountains

Olympic mountains at sunrise - promise and hope from God

My prayer for the fourth Sunday of Advent was inspired by my view of the Olympic mountains early this morning sun drenched, snow covered, rose tinted, silhouetted against a dark sky. I was overwhelmed by the promise and goodness of God I saw reflected in that view.  I had planned to post this later today but I was so impacted by the scene in front of me that I felt I had to post it immediately – so much for waiting quietly and expectantly for Christ’s coming. In fact as we are now more than half way through Advent, for some of us the fact that we need to wait another couple of weeks to celebrate the coming of Christ seems almost unendurable.

This year Advent is as long as it could possibly be – four full weeks because Christmas is on a Sunday. I already know that the fourth week will seem to drag on and on like those last days of pregnancy when a mother longs for the birth of her child. But this is still the season to wait and hope and anticipate what is coming.

The coming of our Lord is near,

Something new is around the corner,

Love, joy, peace and hope, 

We await the promise of your coming. 

The coming of our Lord is near,

Something new is appearing,

A child, a saviour, God’s much beloved son, 

We await the hope of your coming. 

The coming of our Lord is near,

Something new is being birthed,

A new heaven, a new world, a new community,

We await the long expected One.

The coming of our Lord is near,

We wait in joyful expectation for what is emerging,

Love comes down at Christmas, 

And we await your coming.


Christmas Eve Prayer

Kenyan nativity

Rejoice this night with all the hosts of heaven

For Christ our Saviour is born.

He has come to foreigners travelling from afar,

He has come to shepherds outcast in the fields,

He has come bringing joy to the world.

He has come,

Heralding God’s eternal world of peace and justice.

May we make ourselves a part of it,

And look into the light of Christ.

Christ Has Come – Christmas Prayer

Nativity scene by He Qi

It is already Christmas Eve in Australia and New Zealand so I hope you will forgive me for mixing Advent reflections and Christmas prayers today.  I should probably put the Advent reflection up first this morning but as I am still an Australian I thought that I would start the day with a Christmas prayer.

Rejoice, rejoice Christ our saviour has come

Cast off the works of darkness

Put on the ways of light

And clothe yourself with Christ

Put on love to surround you

Put on hope to guide you

Put on joy to sustain you

And clothe yourself with Christ

Rejoice on this dawn of righteousness

Rejoice for this day of justice

Rejoice in the prince of peace

And clothe yourself with Christ

Native American Nativity

On The Side of The Rebel Jesus – A Christmas Carol by jackson Browne

This morning I have been writing Christmas prayers, because like most of us I am sick of this waiting and desperately wanting to celebrate the birth.  As Advent draws to a close I am thinking about what is it that I want to focus on during the Christmas season.  Is it the historic event of Christ’s birth 2000 years ago?  Is it his birth into my life when I was a teenager and the transformation I have experienced in the subsequent year? Is it his future coming and that longed for new world that we still only glimpse darkly?

Then thanks to Brian McLaren, I came across this very compelling and sobering recording by Jackson Browne who describes himself as a pagan and a heathen.  It made me more aware than ever that often it is not the wonder of Christ coming into the world that non Christians find offensive, rather it is the way that we so easily trivialize what this means.  It was a good reminder that no matter what I focus on during Christmas I must not become complacent.  Christ was a rebel and calls us to be rebels too.  How do you think we should respond not just during this Christmas season but throughout the whole year?

More Christmas Prayers

This morning I have been reading through some Advent meditations sent to me by our good friend Mark Pierson in New Zealand  Unfortunately they arrived too late to use for Advent but Mark’s reflections are always refreshing and provocative.  I have adapted one here that really impacted me this morning:

God moved into the neighbouhood, as a baby.  Powerless.  Vulnerable.  Approximately 500,000 mothers die in childbirth each year most of them in the poorest countries of our world.  When a mother dies like this it is almost certain that her child will die too God takes a risk.  Where in the world today will women be giving birth in similar circumstances to Mary?

Take a flower and place beside your Advent wreath.  As you watch it this week let it remind you of women living in poverty and crisis who are carry and bearing children in situations even more dire than Mary’s.  Pray for them

Here is another Christmas prayer that this reflection inspired

Jesus you come

In the voice of the poor

In the hurting of the sick

In the anguish of the oppressed

Jesus you come

In the weakness of the vulnerable

In the questions of the doubting

In the fears of the dying

Jesus come

Transform our indifference into caring

Transform our acquisition into sharing

Transform our hearts of stone to compassion

Jesus come