celtic preayers

The Christian Seasons

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Christmas

The joy of discovery
that moment
when hope and expectation
were gloriously met
by the illumination of one bright star.
We cannot imagine
what words were spoken by visitors
or if first impressions
left them somewhat confused.
Messiah, Saviour, a King
born in the barest of palaces.
Yet they saw and fell down
on their knees in adoration.
Lord, they saw you and knew
whom they had met.
As we meet around crib
candle or advent wreath
draw us into that stable
in our imagination.
In the quiet moments of prayer
this Christmas, that brief oasis
from the bustle of the world
bring alive to us
the smell of the hay
the sound of the animals
the cry of a baby.
Draw us close to our Saviour
Messiah and King as we bring
not Gold, Myrrh or Frankincense
but the gift of our lives
the only offering we can bring.

 


 

Christmas

There were thousands of babies
born that day
all helpless
dependent
needful of love
warmth
and sustenance
some no doubt did not survive
to see another dawn
their tiny light extinguished
through lack of appropriate care
some would grow up to be kings
queens
leaders of men
others slaves
prostitutes
beggars
murderers and thieves
most however
would live ordinary lives
among ordinary people
and live and die
whilst the world scarce noticed
their existence
But not you
Who rose from the ordinary
to the extraordinary
from stable to cross
and beyond
whilst the world tried its best
to ignore you
and failed

 

 


 

What was it
in that natal star
pre-eminent in the night-time sky
that stirred the hearts
and imaginations
of those magi from the east
was it colour
brightness
conjunction
or more
a still small voice
whispering
in the darkness of the world
'This is the sign
that will proceed the birth
of he who fulfils the prophets' words.'
That still small voice
which whispers still
to our conscience
and soul
still leads
if we will but follow
to the stable door

 

 


 

The Year

When you created this world
and all that exists upon it
and breathed your life-giving breath
upon those first organisms
did you get a thrill
as that first flower bloomed?
Was it exactly as you had designed it?
We buy our seeds in packets
drawn by the promise
of a photograph or drawing,
aided by books and TV programs
and yet still marvel
when those first seeds germinate
grow and burst into flower.
You had no such help
in planning your garden
and yet achieved perfection.
I look at any wayside bank
and see a herbaceous border
balanced in size and colour.
I see the broad sweep of a hillside
and the subtle shades of green
transformed through the season
to give a breadth of colour
that any garden designer
would be proud to have created.
Thank you for Springtime, Creator God
and for the inspiration it provides to me
a gardener.

 

 


 

Springtime
Your message of hope
to a world tiring of winter’s starkness
longing for that first crocus
to push through snow’s icy blanket
and spread its leaves
like arms outstretched
to its creator
Springtime
Our yearly reminder, if we needed one
that to a world that was dark and cold
a world devoid of love’s sweet warmth
you sent your Son
to break through sin’s icy blanket
and, arms outstretched
on a cross
he brought us
hope
Thank you

 

 


There is real wisdom, Lord, in the adage
'It is always Springtime in the heart that loves God.'
Springtime is a season of optimism and hope
and the Christian lives a faith centred on hope.
Winter, with its cold and dark days has gone
just as Good Friday has passed to Easter and beyond.
We live a resurrection life
reflected in the new life springing up around us.
Thank you, Lord for the hope that you bring
the renewal that you bring
both to this world and to our hearts and lives.