Saturday, January 16, 2010

Struggling to keep going? In Christ you have the strength

I'm grateful to Catherine Davies of the Northumbria Community, for bringing this beautiful prayer to my attention. It's a great reminder that in Christ we have the strength to do all that he has called us to:

Christ has many tasks for us.

Some are easy; others are difficult.

Some bring honour; others bring reproach.

Some are to our liking, and coincide

with our own inclinations, and are

in our immediate best interest;

some are just the opposite.

In some we may please Christ

and please ourselves;

in others we cannot please Christ

except by denying ourselves.

Yet the power to take on all of these

is most definitely given us in Jesus;

for it is He who strengthens us,

and comes to help us when we are weak.

Celtic Daily Prayer from the Northumbria Community pubs. © Harper Collins"

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Northumbria Community New Year Liturgy

Part of the New Year Liturgy from the Northumbria Community 'Celtic Daily Prayer' (c) HarperCollins:
The Opening Door
This is to be used as a ‘first-footing’ prayer. In Scotland, and the northern parts of England, New Year is given much importance: folk go from house to house wishing each other a good year ahead, and celebrate their good wishes with food and plenty of drink. It is often seen as important who should be the first to cross the threshold and ‘bring in the year’ once midnight has passed. This song (spoken or sung) asks Christ Himself to come and ‘first-foot’ for us. The door is opened to welcome Him in and invite His blessing, whether He comes in silence or in the company of other guests.
This day is a new day
that has never been before.
This year is a new year,
the opening door.

Opening of door

Enter, Lord Christ –
we have joy in Your coming.
You have given us life;
and we welcome Your coming.

I turn now to face You,
I lift up my eyes.
Be blessing my face, Lord;
be blessing my eyes.
May all my eye looks on
be blessed and be bright,
my neighbours, my loved ones
be blessed in Your sight.

You have given us life
and we welcome Your coming.
Be with us, Lord,
we have joy, we have joy.
This year is a new year,
the opening door.
Be with us, Lord,
we have joy, we have joy.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Did the Celtic Saints make New Year Resolutions?

I very much doubt that the Celtic Saints made New Year resolutions! But I am convinced that these missionary wanderers had long-term goals and aims - to make Christ known. And were they successful? Spectacularly! Britain would not have been a Christian country without them. St Aidan (pictured holding the torch of the Gospel) and St Cuthbert, for example, from their mission base on Lindisfarne (the monastery), were responsible for spreading the Christian faith across the whole of Britain. 
We have much to learn from those who have gone before us in the faith:
Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
(Jeremiah 6:16 NIV)