Good News: A Weekly Update from St Thomas Church—December 3, 2015
On the Second Sunday of Advent we light two purple candles on the advent wreath to mark our journey through this season of hopeful waiting and preparation. We hear the words of the Prophet Baruch: “Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem, and put on forever the beauty of the glory from God.” We also hear from the Gospel according to Luke about the beginnings of the ministry of John the Baptist: “...the word of God came to John, son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord...” You can find all the readings here: www.lectionarypage.net/YearC_RCL/Advent/CAdv2_RCL.html. This Sunday, December 6, is also the day set aside by the Church to honor St Nicholas of Myra, a bishop of the 4th century. He was a real person, and was known for his generosity and acts of kindness, particularly to children, sailors and the poor. Immigrants carried his traditions of gift giving throughout the world, and we know him in the USA as Santa Claus. You can read all about him here: http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas.
The beauty and the glory of God are often found in random acts of kindness and generosity – a good thing for us to remember as we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ in this Advent season. See below for ways you can share the spirit of this season through your generosity.
Let us pray:
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Eternal God, in your great love you gave your servant Nicholas a perpetual name for deeds of kindness on land and sea. Grant that your Church may never cease to work for the happiness of children, the safety of sailors, the relief of the poor and the help of those who are tossed by tempests of doubt or grief; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Collect for the second Sunday of Advent Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
Collect for St Nicholas Day, December 6
Peace and blessing,