Advent 20

December 2022

A change of heart. This illustration by Tasha Tudor is from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. It shows the first time that Mary steps inside the secret garden. It is winter and the garden seems devoid of life. The soil is bare and there are no leaves or flowers on the skeletal plants that occupy the space. The coldness of the garden reflects the coldness of Mary’s heart. But over the following months the garden and Mary’s heart are brought back to life and overflow with joy and colour.

What is there within you that is waiting for a little nurturing in order to blossom?

I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord; and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. Jeremiah 24:7

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Prayers for Creation 

Friday 15th July 2022

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life. Proverbs 11:30a

You Lord, are the source of all good things: 

We praise you.

You call us to tend and care for your creation: 

May we strive to do your will.

You have made us as brothers and sisters with all that lives: 

May we live together in peace.

A reading: As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. Genesis 8:22

An acorn is a comical thing

with a little hat that could be a cup.

Its pointed tip – that could be its bottom – 

is not going to drill its way into the earth. 

It waits for the rook or the squirrel 

to snaffle it and bury it deep in the soil, 

where after hours of dark contemplation 

it will emerge as a slip of a thing, 

with rusty red leaves that unfold into green.

An oak’s life starts in a very small way.

Lord God, in small and even comical ways, 

let our faith grow. 

From small beginnings help us sow 

seeds that will transform your world.

A reading: Isaiah 41:19-20

 I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive;
I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, so that all may see and know, all may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Rooted together in community, 

colonising land that might otherwise be void, 

trees are not loners. 

Companions they support each other, 

neighbours that support others, 

forming delicate ecosystems 

where life is in the balance. 

Lord God, let our faith 

create neighbours and communities.

Rooted in togetherness, 

may your kingdom come.

Reading: He said, “Out of the eater came something to eat; Out of the strong came something sweet.” Three days later they had still not figured out what the riddle meant. Judges 14:14

Ancient oak, 

wrinkled and gnarled, 

gnawed at by time, 

even in death you provide safe lodging 

and sustenance for others. 

With grace you return to the earth 

the nourishment you harvested: 

a life time of receiving and giving.

Lord God, let our faith 

nourish generations to come 

just as we gain from those who have gone before. 

May the power of the resurrection 

sustain us with eternal life.


The Grace