Advent

Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool footballer prays on the pitch
“Blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”I wonder if anybody here has been following the football. If you have, you will know that my team, Liverpool, haven’t really been doing all that well. In fact it would not be too much to say that this season so far has probably been the worst ever performance by a Liverpool team in the history of the Premiership. It has already cost our manager, Brendan Rodgers, his job.But what struck me was the reason that...
Tender Mother by Robert Cheaib on Flickr
Each day in the middle of our routines, anxieties and disasters, the liturgy brings its work of healing.  ‘It binds up the wounded soul’, gives us food for the journey of our lives and renews us in the truth that only faith can see and sustain. It carries us when we need to be carried and celebrates with us when we mark those moments of joy and thanksgiving, weaving them all into the fabric of God's own eternal life, sanctifying our life in its everyday ordinariness.In the rhythm of the...
Photo of father & child on beach
When Christians ascribe to Jesus the four familiar titles from Isaiah 9:6 – ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’ – the one that might seem out of place is ‘Everlasting Father’: isn’t Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son? But consider the understanding of divinely-instituted kingship that informs this text, says Teresa White FCJ, and a new and helpful perspective on fatherhood can emerge.Read 'A child by...
God has a bigger plan for me than I have for myself
“I want you to be happy, always happy in the Lord; I repeat, what I want is your happiness.”A few years ago, I walked into a Church and I found that there was a little service going on. So I sat down at the back and joined in. It was the reception into the Church of a young woman. It was a very nice ceremony and afterwards the people gathered for tea and biscuits in the presbytery. And I got to talk to her.Being – as you all know - the shy retiring sort, my first question was: “why did you want...
Winter Sun from Unsplash.com
Prepare a way for the Lord,make his paths straight.Every valley will be filled in,every mountain and hill be laid low,winding ways will be straightenedand rough roads made smooth. And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.There were four of us in our noviceship - Matthew, Chris, Tony and myself. And in the summer of 1999, just after we had all been ordained and were about to be sent our separate ways, we all decided to have a reunion. And it happened that this was the time of a total...
Still from The Godfather
You may not think immediately of The Godfather when you hear the title ‘Wonderful Counsellor’ in the passage from Isaiah that is read at Midnight Mass on Christmas Day, but James Crampsey SJ suggests that the association can help us think about what that title means. The one who holds it helps us to ‘recognise the power of God at work in our world in others and in ourselves.’Read 'A child by any other name': the introduction to our Advent series. Read >>I...
Words of Isaiah 9
‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’: this grand and evocative list from the book of Isaiah is read to us at Midnight Mass on Christmas Day each year.  Thinking Faith’s Advent series will consider how each of these titles can kindle our imaginations as we prepare to celebrate the gift of the Incarnation. Karen Eliasen sets the scene by exploring the significance of this ‘remarkable list of names’ as it appears in Isaiah 9:6....
Credit Stefan Kunze via Unsplash
“Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.'”There are many parts of the Mass that I love, but there is one moment in our Eucharist that I have now come to love as much as any of them - it is that moment when - as part of our Offertory procession - a member of the congregation, one of the people of God,  brings up to the altar, along with the bread and wine, the Petitions Book. Along with the...
The adoration of the shepherds, Asmolean Museum
A series of talks curated by Campion Hall: contemplating the nativity in AdventThe Adoration of the ShepherdsThe Picture Gallery, Christ ChurchA talk byThe Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy (Dean of Christ Church)Jacqueline Thalmann (Curator of the Picture Gallery) Saturday 12th December  4pmThe talks are free of charge and all are welcome 
Our Advent journey through the genealogy of Jesus continues with a focus on David and Solomon.  It is after the inclusion of David that the genealogies given by Matthew and Luke take different paths.  Jim Crampsey SJ imagines a Jesus familiar only with the genealogy in Luke’s Gospel being confronted in an episode of the television show Who Do You Think You Are? with the possibility that his ancestry might not be as it seems… What you need to knowThis article works with two sets...

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