3rd Advent

Read the ‘Liturgy and prayer’ specially written for us by Rev Kathy Galloway

You might like to colour the ‘stained glass window’ which reminds us of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth.

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Elizabeth gladly offered her support to her young cousin. What support (the ‘fruits of the spirit – or, to put it another way, the difference in our lives because we are trying to be more Christ-like’) have you received from and given to others?

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Light the third white candle and place it on your Advent wreath.

The Fruit of the Ruach (Spirit) Is His Work – Not Ours | Gone Fishin'



THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT LITURGY

To begin

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.  

Sing out my soul, sing of the holiness of God;

Who has delighted in a woman,

Lifted up the poor, satisfied the hungry,

Given voice to the silent, grounded the oppressor,

Blessed the full-bellied with emptiness,

And with the gift of tears those who have never wept;

Who has desired the darkness of the womb

And inhabited our flesh.

Sing of the longing of God. Sing out, my soul

Luke 1, 39-45, 56  Mary Visits Elizabeth

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’

And Mary remained with her for about three months and then returned to her home.

Reflection

There is no one who can understand what it’s like to be pregnant in quite the same way as another pregnant woman. And in this wonderful story, one can quite see why Mary was in a particular  hurry to visit Elizabeth. They must have had a great deal to talk about, the young girl and the middle-aged woman related not just by kinship or even by the details of pregnancy, but by their recognition that something strange was happening to both of them in which the divine Spirit was dynamically at work. How good that they had each other! How good that women have each other to turn to in times of difficulty and transformation!

A woman’s body is irrevocably changed by giving birth. But out of that change, the new is born. Something of the same kind of transformation happens in all kinds of creative activity, and not just to women. Whether it be a poem, a painting, a piece of music, a garden, a delicious meal, a degree-all share the same process of conception, gestation, hard labour, delivery. Costly discipleship, hospitality and justice, all equally require of us a spiritual transformation, and the willingness to sacrifice something of what we have been in order for something new to be born. Parenting, prayer, social engagement for the common good are all ways through which the fruit of the Spirit grows in us.

Activity

Place the third candle on the wreath and light the three candles.

Colour the stained-glass illustration of Mary meeting Elizabeth

Look at the picture of the fruits of the Spirit and think about the questions it asks.

Prayer

Mothering God,

may we never take the miracle of birth for granted.

Give us steadfast love towards those who depend on us,

that we may be practical bringers of hope and courage to others.

Midwife of our lives, pull us into life and breathe new spirit into us.

Creator Spirit, visit us with your divine imagination,

that we also may recognise you, even when you come in unexpected ways.

To end

Rejoice in the Lord always;

again I will say, Rejoice.
Let your gentleness be known to everyone.

The Lord is near.

Do not worry about anything,

but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving

let our requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,

will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

Amen


The full advent pack is available here: https://wellingtonchurchglasgow.files.wordpress.com/2021/12/complete-1.pdf


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