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Thoughts and prayers for Advent 2 from Nick Gellatly at Little Paxton Church

Thanks to Nick for these Advent thoughts and prayers which he shared with us this morning at our 40 Minutes service.

2nd Sunday in Advent–December 4, 2011

 The Candle of Peace

2 Peter 3:8-15a


Candle prayer

 Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the paths of thine Only-begotten Son: that we may worthily serve thee with hearts purified by His coming: Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.


 Some systems name the candle as follows:

Candle 1. Hope (purple)

Candle 2. Peace (purple)

Candle 3. Joy (rose; the corresponding Sunday is “Gaudete Sunday”)

Candle 4. Love (purple)

Candle 5. Christ (white)


Others do it like this:

Candle 1. Patriarchs

Candle 2. Prophets

Candle 3. John the Baptist

Candle 4. Mary the mother of Jesus.

Candle 5. Christ the light of the world


Today is the Second Sunday in Advent!

 Last Sunday, we lit the first candle, the Candle of Hope. The first Sunday in advent is about the hope and excited expectation of what we know will happen; we are bursting with hope for the mystery of Christmas.

 When I was a child, the place where I lived got quite a lot of snow. We don’t get very much here – so you might be surprised to learn how quiet snow is. Now, when it rains, we can hear it. The rain beats on the roof; the rain hits the windows; the rain rattles in the pipes and splashes on the pavements, and don’t forget the sound of thunder! But when it snows, it is silent. You can’t tell it is happening unless you are watching it. I’ve always loved to sit and watch the snow fall and fall and fall and never hear it. And then, when everything is covered in snow, everything else gets quiet, too. It is amazing that something so silent can change everything so completely.

 The candle we lit at the beginning of the service – for the second Sunday in Advent is the Candle of Peace. We prepare ourselves for Christmas by having Peace. Like snow, peace comes quietly. We do not hear it, and yet when there is peace, it changes everything, making the world get quiet and look so beautiful. Our Bible story today calls us to wait for God with peace. Yes, we are to be filled to bursting with hope, but we are to be changed with peace. As we prepare ourselves for the joyful mystery of Christmas, we carry an excited hope wrapped in a beautiful blanket of quiet peace.


And now we will sing Away in a Manger.


 Be near me, Lord Jesus,

I ask Thee to stay

Close by me forever

And love me I pray


Gracious God help us to meet you as you come to us. 

Help us to prepare your way in our lives,

and to announce your coming in love to others.

Take, O God, what we give and transform it, to your glory.

Take, O God, what we do and transform it to your acting.

Take, O God, what we say and transform it to your singing.

Take, O God, what we live and transform it to your creating.

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer….


Lord, hear too our prayer for those rough places in our lives

and in the lives of others that we name, in silence,  before you.

Fill the valleys with your light,

level the uneven paths with your grace,

and grant that your Spirit might so move us and others,

that your saving presence might be visible to all.

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer….



Lord, on this Sunday of preparation,

this Sunday which celebrates your peace,

help there to be peace in our lives and peace in our churches,

and peace in our world. 

Where we have sinned, move us to repentance,

and help us confess to those we have grieved and seek their forgiveness;

and where others have sinned against us

help us to trust in your vindication

and grant that those who have hurt us

might see your light and be made new in Christ. 

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer….


Lord, we hold before you those who suffer in mind, body and spirit

Those for whom the promise of Christmas holds no joy

Those for whom the light is dim.

We think particularly this morning of…..

And those who have died as well as those who mourn them..






Candles  by Constantine P Cavafy

 The days of the future stand in front of us

Like a line of candles all alight—-

Golden and warm and lively little candles.

The days that are past are left behind,

A mournful row of candles that are out;

The nearer ones are still smoking,

Candles cold, and melted, candles bent.,

I don’t want to see them; their shapes hurt me,

It hurts me to remember the light of them at first.

I look before me at my lighted candles,

I don’t want to turn around and see with horror

How quickly the dark line is lengthening,

How quickly the candles multiply that have been put out.


Be near me, Lord Jesus,

I ask Thee to stay

Close by me forever

And love me I pray


Merciful father accept these prayers for the sake of your son Jesus Christ.



December 4, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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