Prayers for Creation

2nd December 2022 

Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.

He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,

Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:5-6 

In Scandinavia a sheaf of wheat or other grains is saved and put out at Christmas for the birds. If lots of birds come, it is said to presage a good harvest. Maybe it is a reminder that generosity is frequently reciprocal. 

A reading from Deuteronomy 24:10-21

When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. “When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. 

As we prepare for Christmas amidst a rush to buy all that we want and more, let us pray for those from whose labour we gain:

We pray for shop staff and shelf stackers, warehouse workers and delivery drivers:

May their work be rewarding and well rewarded.

We pray for factory hands and machinists, for assemblers and packers:

May their labour be rewarded, their safety ensured.

We pray for farmers and growers, labourers and pickers:

May the fruits of their work be savoured and not be wasted.

We pray for the soil and the water table:

May what is extracted be replaced, may their good health be sustained.

We pray for agricultural live stock – birds, animals and fish:

May they be raised with love and respect, and at their life’s end with dignity and care.

May we as consumers, always show out thanks and respect for the work of others.

May we be measured in what we buy, 

may we be conscientious in caring for what we have, 

and may we be generous in passing forward all that we can share. 


Go forth into the world in peace.

Be of good courage.

Hold fast that which is good.

Render to no one evil for evil.

Strengthen the fainthearted.

Support the weak.

Help the afflicted.

Show love to everyone.

Love and serve the Lord,

rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit;

and may the blessing of almighty God,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be with us all. Amen.

From the Book of Common Prayer 

Advent Reflections: Reading the Signs

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light… 

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.

And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.

(Isaiah 9:2, Isaiah 7:14 and Luke 2:11) 

The readings during Advent and especially those used in carol services are full of pointers and signs, telling us that amazing things are about to happen, all will be transformed, good times are coming. Advent is a time of preparing for and looking forward to both the celebration of Jesus – the messiah’s- birth, and the coming of the end of times, of the last day. The former has a certainty about it, an event, ie Christmas, whose shape can know and predict: its predictability firmly cemented by tradition. The latter, whilst it is something we are pretty sure will happen, we have no idea when or how it will be, nor are we even sure that we will recognise it if when we see it.

If we reflect a little more – especially after the uncertainty that covid created last year – we may also realise that even the shape of Christmas is not a certainty. Each year we may find that our reaction to the festivities, however familiar, is unpredictable; and that our experience of encountering Jesus as God incarnate is equally uncertain. 

The Christian life can be understood as a journey but where that route goes or to what destination it brings us is not clear. This  equally applies to our everyday lives. We may have a plan : school and perhaps university, then a job; marriage, a house, and a family; retirement, a pension and grandchildren – but we know that these are not certain it’s and, in our current physical and political world, have even less certain than they were in the past. 

Thinking of Advent as a season of signs, we might see those signs not as destination boards that confirm where we will end up, nor as a timetable. Rather we might see them as way markers that confirm that we are on the right path. So even if we can’t see our final destination, if we can’t see what’s over the hill or around the  next corner, at least we can be certain that we are on the right road.