Sunday, December 03, 2006


Today marks the first Sunday in the Church Calendar.... it is the start of a new year - Advent Sunday.

Needless to say everybody at church ended up running around like headless chickens because various things went missing. The prayer for the lighting of the advent ring couldn't be found. Rather than see this as a difficulty, I chose to see it as an opportunity. So I grabbed the service sheet, a pen and pad and then decided to invent my own advent prayer:

Jesus - Light of the World, you stepped down into the darkness of our lives and came to transform us with your love. As we light this candle, help us to remember with thanks that you came to save us by your death and resurrection; and looking forward , prepare our hearts for your glorious return. Increase our love and strengthen our hearts that we may be blameless in your sight. In your name we ask this. Amen.
Despite the fact the "official" prayer was found, we still used mine as well. It sounds like it may well be used again in the coming weeks. The ironic thing here is that I'm normally opposed to liturgy, and yet a simple prayer I created as a one off, now looks like it may well become a form of "unofficial" liturgy.

I should add that it's not liturgy itself I resent, some of the words are quite inspirational. What I'm resentful of is the habit in traditional churches of following the same pattern of service and using the same prayers over and over again. Prayers should not be recited parrot fashion, they should be from the heart. In services dominated by liturgy, it becomes so easy to flick an unconscious switch and drift off into autopilot mode. This is saddening because if you listen to people do this, they sound like something from popular culture... a race of automatons without feeling, emotion or individuality...

That's right, when I hear people praying without passion it sounds like the Borg. If you say a creed, don't murmur it... it is supposed to be the core of what you believe... not just fancy writing on a page. As for the Lord's Prayer... I wouldn't dare pray that without considering the awesome nature of the words. Just go away and think about what each line actually means and you will see what I mean. It CANNOT be prayed lightly.

I want to challenge people over how they worship. The things you are passionate about as a person, define you? What are you passionate about? Where do your passions lie? Do you reach down into the very depths of your soul and... no matter what you find there, pour it out in the way you express things? Though a stroke of the brush does not guarantee fine art, I firmly believe that everyone is an artist. We each have the capacity to be passion ate about things... and to convey that passion through speech, song, paintings, poetry and praise and worship.

Dare we be anything less? I'd like to encourage people to make a new resolution... to pour everything out from the core of their being... the pain, the elation, the joys the sorrows, the agony and the ecstasy.

It is our passion that reveals what we care about. Lets show it.


  1. Amen! My feelings entirely! (And its good to meet a fellow Star Trek fan?)

  2. Thanks for the kind comment.

    Actually I'm primarily into Babylon 5... but I'm not of the kind that dislikes other sci-fi based on my loaylty to one.

    Generally speaking if it's science fiction I'll like it... especially if it gives me a lot to chew on.

    Currently enjoying Battlestar Galactica (taken completely on faith as we don't have satellite) and Life on Mars.


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