Category Archives: Advent

Day 24


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John 1:14

The night before Christmas and lots of last minute buying, wrapping of presents is going on around us. We find ourselves mesmerised by the television and the amount of food in our cupboards. We think it is a miracle if we have done everything before the shops shut. This verse in John’s Gospel tells us that God came down to earth as a baby, to live with us, to show us how to live and die for us, so that we might have life in all its fullness. It is a gift given out of grace and God’s enormous love for each one of us – this is the true miracle of Christmas time.

Even if it were not Christmas day tomorrow, I would still be thankful for …

Day 23


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Matthew 2:9-12

Kings and gifts. The wise men sought God in a palace but found him among a humble family. The shepherds offered praise to God and the wise men brought gifts full of meaning. One of the most important thing in this account is that the wise men never gave up searching. They found Jesus and their lives were changed by the encounter. With only two days to go before Christmas day, give yourself time to pray for someone you know or a neighbour that they might also be overjoyed by what they find and understand the full meaning of Christmas.

I am thankful for food, especially…

Day 22


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Matthew 2:7-8

In many blockbuster films we often have the tension between good and evil, played out between the different characters and we have to look deeper to understand what is going on. Herod was someone who on the surface seemed to have the right motives for searching for Jesus but his heart held secret thoughts. Spend a moment asking God to search your heart for anything that is hidden and ask for the gift of grace and healing.

I am thankful for all the great…

Day 21


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Matthew 2:3-6

The message of Christmas will always disturb some people. All the characters in the Christmas accounts have had their lives disrupted, some have asked questions and others accepted and acted upon what they have heard. Give us wisdom and sensitivity in sharing our faith and always be open to questions about our own ‘story’.

I am thankful that each Christmas we…

Day 20


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Matthew 2:1-2

The Kings were searching. They weren’t quite sure who they were searching for, except they knew he would be a King. They wanted to find him and worship him. I suspect that at this point they were not aware what kind of King Jesus would be. Searching and journeying are important for us in our faith. Pray for someone you know who needs God in their lives and pray that they might find Him and come to worship Him this Christmas.

I am especially thankful for …

Day 19


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Micah 5:2-5

‘…and he will be your peace.’ He will care for his people. Who do you know who is unwell in mind, body and spirit? Pray God’s peace and healing into their lives and situations.

I am thankful we get to …

Day 18


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Luke 2:19-20

What does Christmas mean to you? Are you beginning to feel the frenzy of shopping and cooking and eating? Or are you already looking forward to it all being over and the January sales. In amongst all that was going on for Mary, she takes a moment to reflect and treasure some of the things in her heart. Take a moment to remember ‘Why Christmas’? …and ponder the truth in your heart.

I am thankful for all the people that…

Day 17


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Luke 2: 15-18

As the shepherds hurry off to find Jesus they move from being worshippers to witnesses.
Their encounter with Jesus transforms their lives and we are told they began to spread the word. How does your life reflect the joy you have found in Jesus? When did you last tell someone about him?

I am thankful that in our home…

Day 16


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Luke 2:13 & 14

Do you have a favourite carol of joy, proclaiming the birth of the saviour? Mine is ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’. Whichever your favourite is, why not stand up and join the Heavenly throng of angels offering up praises to God in the highest.

I am thankful that running up to Christmas …

Day 15


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Luke 2: 8-12

The shepherds were not rich and privileged people. They lived on the margins of society and were probably very smelly. These are the people God chose to reveal the message. Good news of great joy was here for all people . Pray today for those on the margins of society, those who feel unloved and are lonely.  God has a heart of love for everyone.

I am thankful that every day…

Day 14


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Luke 2:6-7

No room at the inn. That famous line often uttered with great volume from some small child at a nativity play! It may be that like the inn, the central space of our lives feels full to overflowing with people and events demanding our attention.  Jesus doesn’t ask for us to get everything in order before he will come into our lives. All we have to do is make space for him. How can we do that today?

I am even thankful for…

Day 13


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Luke 2:1-5

Today, spend some time reflecting on the places in the world where people are displaced, whether that is through conflict or war, famine, or any other reasons why they have had to leave their homes. Perhaps do some research into where today there places are and to pray for them.

I am thankful we go …

Day 12


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Luke 1:46-56

“My soul magnifies the Lord”! I have often looked at the words of Mary here and marvelled at how full of faith and love for God this young woman is. I also think about how much of Mary’s song would be from memory, from parts of the Old Testament and think about how she had clearly stored scripture in her heart and how her response comes directly from those words. When we respond to situations, what are we drawing from in our response- our emotions? Logic? Perhaps we can learn something from Mary today and choose to learn scripture to shape our response to situations which arise and see things with God’s eyes.

I am thankful for all the…

Day 11


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Luke 1:39-45

The star of the story, the main actor at work in the scene in front of us, was the Lord God Almighty. It was His Spirit’s prompting that sent Mary to Judea. It was His Spirit that caused John the Baptist and Elizabeth to recognize the Messiah’s presence. It was His Spirit that gave Mary faith and obedience. How willing and able are you today to pay attention to the nudges of the Holy Spirit today?

I am thankful we can …

Day 10


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Matthew 1: 22-26

What’s in a name? If you have ever had to choose a name for a child (or a pet) you know how hard that can sometimes be, especially before you have met the one whom you are trying to name. However, Mary and Joseph were clearly told they were to give their baby the name Jesus and he will be ‘Immanuel,’ God with us.  The wonderful thing for each one of us, is that God does know our names, he calls us by our names and loves us with an enormous love, today and always.

I am thankful for the colour…

Day 9


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Matthew 1: 18-21

This passage is a picture of quiet obedience. As we are called to follow God, there are times when it might make life difficult but he always promises the gift of grace to carry on. As we reflect today, perhaps think about the past, whether that is this year, or years before that. Where have we needed to lean into God and his strength to get through? In what ways has God carried us when can no longer do it all ourselves?

I am thankful the world is …

Day 8


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Luke 1: 26-38

Of all of the surprising things that could have happened to Mary that day, there are few things that could have been more surprising than the appearance of the angel and the message that they brought. Mary’s response is, in some ways surprising too- she appears to receive the message and accept it even though it was a message that would change her life forever. A question for us today, how willing are we to be surprised by God’s plans for us and our lives?

I am thankful I don’t have to …

Day 7


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Luke 1: 18-25

This must have been an unbelievable moment for Zechariah. He had lived his life following the God he loved. His faith was strong and he was a man of prayer. However, as the angel speaks, Zechariah’s faith falters. Instead of rising to faith he begins to doubt and question. Sometimes when our lives get complicated, we want explanations and we want assurance that God really is in control. It is in these times that we really need to hold on to God and his promises.

Read the passage to yourself slowly- what stands out for you today? What might you want
to think about further?

I am thankful that we are …

Day 6


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Luke 1: 11-17

Surprise! I think that being surprised is a bit like marmite- you either love or hate it.
However you feel about surprises, I think that being visited by an angel would top any surprise you have ever experienced, and then when we hear the message that was brought to Mary, that’s a bigger surprise still! Imagine how you think Mary would have felt as she got the surprise of her life- a message from God himself.

Read the passage to yourself slowly- what stands out for you today? What might you want
to think about further?

I am thankful for my …

Day 5


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Luke 1: 5-10

Patience and trust: Two words we have to work hard at, especially when life feel tough or
where years of prayer seem to have gone unanswered. The story of Zechariah and Elizabeth shows us despite their disappointments, they kept close to God and God had a plan for their lives. God has a plan for our lives too even when it is hard to see through the
disappointments and struggles of today.

Read the passage to yourself slowly- what stands out for you today? What might you want
to think about further?

I am thankful for animals especially …

Day 4


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Jeremiah 33:14-16

We live in a world where there is war and famine, where over the past year Coronavirus has changed how we live and caused the death of many. We live in a time where issues of
justice are distorted and peace is fragile. Today, think about a country or topic in the news
and pray for justice and peace to break in and change the situation.

Read the passage to yourself slowly- what stands out for you today? What might you want
to think about further?

I am thankful that today…

Day 3


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Isaiah 11: 1-10

Pruning trees, bushes and shrubs can seem like a harsh business, cutting right back to the
stump on occasion, leaving little behind. However, shoots come from the stump, as we see
in today’s reading, shoots that are stronger, more vigorous. Pruning is about health, cutting back dead wood and weight to leave behind what is able to grow- we see this in God’s story of his people, but also see it in our own lives as we leave behind the old to walk in the new life that is found in Jesus.

Read the passage to yourself slowly- what stands out for you today? What might you want
to think about further?

I am thankful for people who…

Day 2


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Isaiah 9: 2-7

In today’s passage we hear the familiar words from Isaiah of who Jesus would come to be, bringing light to the darkness. That list- Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace- may seem ambitious and setting the bar high for the coming Messiah, but for Jesus, this is only the beginning of what he accomplished through his birth, life, death and resurrection.

Read the passage to yourself slowly- what stands out for you today? What might you want
to think about further?

I am thankful that I have…

Day 1


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John 1: 1-5

Here at the start of John’s Gospel, we have John setting the scene for all that was to follow – that what was going to be read and heard was about Jesus, fully God and fully man, there with the Father from the very beginning. We find ourselves rooted in the story, the story where God is the source of all, life and love. It is the story of God’s redeeming love, made human for each of us, to dwell with us and for us in relationship.

Read the passage to yourself slowly- what stands out for you today? What might you want
to think about further?

Today I am thankful for…