Focus text for Monday, December 16, 2019:
Matthew 1:18-25 in preparation for Christmas services (Year A) 2019.
A lectionary-based study of the bible focuses on one of the prescribed scriptures for the following Sunday, according to the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). We follow a format called ‘lectio divina’ which is a holy, prayerful reading, and re-reading of the text.
The topic is ‘prayer’ and the theme is ‘finding a new way to pray’. There are times in our lives when what we have been doing dries us for us. We may be tempted to believe that our faith is lost or God has abandoned us and no longer hears our prayers. These times can be times of great suffering or great love, when we our lives are changing.
But perhaps these crisis moments can be an invitation to go deeper together in prayer. Come into a safe space with a few other people on the journey of life and faith to explore what prayers means and how we can pray.
Following the Christian Meditation tradition of contemplative prayer, we gather to sit in silence and stillness for twenty minutes, focusing on a prayer word and repeating it interiorly and faithfully, as we enter the prayer of Jesus Christ. We also listen to a recording by teachers in this tradition (eg. John Main, Laurence Freeman), and reflect together briefly on this practice of prayer and our understanding of it. This time together provides an oasis of calm and concentration in a busy life of distraction and rapid mobility.
A festive worship with scripture and carol-singing, about the theme: “A Lutheran Christmas through the ages.” The choir will sing the “Sussex Carol.”
A contemplative Christmas Eve worship, including Holy Communion and candlelight. Sing your favourite carols on this most holy night.