As our body requires oxygen to move, to breathe, to know the taste of life


So too our soul needs HOPE to press on where there is no light, no touch-stone

HOPE for we mortals is the essences of being; when hope is crushed, removed

We are a skeleton, no flesh, no strength to move us on.

HOPE is like the sun is to the day, light for us to play; the well spring of Wisdom to be living NOW, the awaited dream of expectation, aspiring us to be real.

HOPE in the waiting is like the wings of the dove, lifting us high above the daily commotion (routine) on the current of faith and prayer, aspiring us to new elevations.

HOPE is the light we use to shine upon the path of life, as well as the light to reflect who we are; in spirit and truth as we embody the deeds of hospitality, kindness, peace.

HOPE can be the transfiguration of old to new; no longer bogged down by “what if” but rather the uplifting surge of anticipation that calms and wills our soul to hang in.

HOPE is not ours to own but we need to prepare, be ready to wait, for we do not know exactly when hope will push us out to the deep, to believe Jesus is capable, capable of working his personification through our words and deeds

For the purpose of His kingdom come; His will be done; as much as you have done to these little ones, you have done it as unto Me; the Shepherd of Souls*, (be they new or old). As we open up our present moment for our soul to breathe, the remarkable power of HOPE!

*acknowledgement All Souls’ Day, 2nd November. Inspiration: sermon by Sonya Lewthwaite © stephen c douglas 12 November 2017


PEACE

2nd Sunday of Advent

By Stephen Douglas


The messenger comes bringing good news and PEACE to all mankind

Saying prepare the way of He who comes in the name of the Lord

He brings ‘peace’ not as the world knows but a peace which

Firstly is a message of good tidings to be proclaimed with a loud voice

PEACE is a message we can demonstrate not by words but with action

As you do it unto these little ones, you do it as much as unto Me.

The best messenger is the one whom lives and breathes their message

Whom are your messengers; from whom have you received a helping

Hand to be found reading this poem of PEACE - are others rushing

To you to know your message of Hope and Peace in their troubled place?

You don’t have to be an Isaiah, John, or Mark to be a God Messenger

Angels come in many different forms; some announce their message

In a wilderness - dressed basically; sandals, camel cloth, eating honey

Others are held in awe as they pass on their message, announcing a Saviour

Is born, the ultimate messenger to mankind. A new beginning when all seems

Lost on a hill not far away, “Father I commit these to you for your keeping”

You are not alone, I breathe my Spirit into your soul, don’t be afraid for I have

Overcome the world of pain and loss; my PEACE is what I leave with you

Be restored, be made whole; transformed by the message, ready for a…..

New beginning. . . . .

*In peace will I lie down, for it is You, O Lord,

You alone who makes me to rest secure.

Be it on Your own beloved arm,

O God of grace that I in peace shall awake.

Be the peace of the Spirit mine this night (and day)

Be the peace of the Son mine this night (and day)

Be the peace of the Father mine this night (and day)

The peace of all peace be mine this night (and day)

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.


Inspiration: sermon by Glenys Palmer *words taken from Aidan compline; bracketed (and day) my addition

© stephen c douglas, 11 December 2017


JOY

3rd Sunday of Advent

“Gaudete in Domino semper”

By Stephen Douglas


It’s been said: JOY is Jesus, Others, Yourself; that’s the theme

Which came to me, on this the third advent Sunday.

Loving God, we open ourselves to you, trusting that this is how

You made us: you created us for JOY-filled (not full) lives.

JOY - What does it mean is the asked question? As the children’s

Story is told - Kind Oxen saying, Come in, (lonely, lost, least) there’s

Always room for a little one. The last to come in was tired donkey

Carrying Mary with child and Joseph aside; and Oxen chimes

Come in, there’s always room for one more to share our straw

So, Jesus was born amongst JOY-filled animals in a manger.

Activity is our mantra: we be busy with ‘this ‘n’ that’ especially

Now at Christmas; bustling ‘here ‘n’ there’ to purchase gifts

To sit around our tree, but where be the gift of JOY?

In the mist of everything going on JOY can be the candle bright

Which we light, as we offer others the warmth of place and heart.

As the hymnist penned the chorus, *“O come into my heart

Lord Jesus, there is room in my (life) heart for you”. Let it be with

JOY (Jesus, Others, Yourself); pause, draw aside, to lay

Your gifts and treasures at your Lord and Saviour’s side.

JOY is found when like Kind Oxen

We find and carry out our mission in life

So today we open ourselves to J-O-Y

Trusting that God has already planted it in us;

All we need to do is give it care and offer it to share!

“Rejoice in the Lord always”

***Hymn 206; There Is Room in My Heart for Thee Emily E. Elliott**

Inspiration: sermon by Karl Dickson. (Room for Little One: A Christmas Tale by Martin Waddell)

© stephen c douglas, 17 December 2017


LOVE

4th Sunday of Advent

Song of the Holy Family

By Stephen Douglas


Wise men travelled from the East as the Holy Family came to Bethlehem

Guided by prophetic light Joseph took Mary to be his wife

They found no place to rest except a humble manger with some sheep

Tired and weary from heat, Mary with child, gladly let it be.

Joseph thought to leave Mary but in a dream he was warned not to

For the child she bears is the promised hope for mankind,

A saviour from the house of David, a light, prophesied a long time ago

An angel came to Mary, saying be not afraid, I come to you with peace

Be assured, the child you must keep is the promised Messiah

Mary filled with wonder went to Elizabeth, there she sung her song of joy

Both rejoiced for each other’s child; hope in heart Mary returned

Joseph encouraged, took Mary, though with child, to be his wife

By political decree the Holy Family travelled; impossible as it may seem

They are our light today - know you can be chosen, to fulfil a divine decree

Encounters with God are possible for all of us; stop, listen, notice

In many cases ordinary ones are blessed to be messengers of LOVE

While shepherds watched their flock at night, angels came and a light

Shone around; saying we come with good news, man’s Saviour is born

In Bethlehem, be on your way and homage pay, as ye to be lights of LOVE

Immediately the shepherds respond to what they had been told,

Seeking out the promised child, they find him in a manger wrapped

In clothes of hope, peace and joy, gazing back, with eyes of LOVE

Magi came, as light from East, to Jerusalem guided by a special star

Asking where they may find the new born king of the Jews?

Their gifts they left and being warned, returned a different way

The candle of God’s LOVE fills us all the time and Christ’s light is able

To spread out everywhere, when we are not afraid to believe

As Mary and Joseph, the Holy Family of Galilee, did so many years ago

Inspiration: sermon by Caro Willis © stephen c douglas, 24 December, 2017