4 Dec

The theme for this second week of Advent is PEACE, Rangimārie.

Kia tau tonu te rangimārie o te Ariki ki a koe.
May the peace of Christ be always with you.

The good people at The Bible Project have put this Advent Word Study
video together to explain the rich biblical understanding of peace.

How is your Advent Prayer Calendar going?
If you’ve recently joined us, check out the first Sunday of Advent to learn
how you can use these days to intentionally pray for others.

Today’s picture comes from Ira! Cards, a beautiful resource to
inspire you to support and connect with te reo Maori every day.



5 Dec

Peace is much easier said than lived in Advent! Much of our stress comes from expectations of gift giving.

The Advent Conspiracy offers a different perspective on how we might approach this season.

Or check out this family’s wildly different approach – converting the Christmas gift exchange to a Christmas Power Point Presentation extravaganza – described in this article from TED.




6 Dec

One of the difficult tensions to hold in Advent is waiting. In the world that surrounds us it seems like it’s already been Christmas for at least a month!

Barbara Brown Taylor writes, “Our waiting is not nothing. It is something — a very big something — because people tend to be shaped by whatever it is they are waiting for.”

How are you being shaped by the not-yet-ness of the season of Advent?
Try writing a Haiku that describes this tension.



7 Dec

Jesus said, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.

Peace seems to be so difficult to access at this frenetic time of year. Listen to this chant God to Enfold Me by Michael John Talbot. How might the words of this chant bring peace to you today? If you want to use this sung chant in your own prayer life, you’ll find the words here.



8 Dec

Midday Prayer offers us this prayer:

Let us be at peace within ourselves.
Let us accept that we are profoundly loved and need never be afraid.
Let us be aware of the source of being that is common to us all and to all living creatures.
Let us be filled with the presence of the great compassion towards ourselves and towards all living beings.
Realising that we are all nourished from the same source of life, may we so live that others be not deprived of air, food, water, shelter, or the chance to live.
Let us pray that we ourselves cease to be a cause of suffering to one another.
With humility let us pray for the establishment of peace in our hearts and on earth.

Pray this slowly and aloud.



9 Dec

At this time of the year as our senses are overloaded by too many things to do and too many people, it becomes easy to be blind to the beauty that surrounds us. Beauty is one of the ways that we can breathe in peace.

Midday Prayer (pg 157) has a poem by Edward Carpenter called The Lake of Beauty, which begins:

Let your mind be quiet,
realising the beauty of the world,

and the immense,
the boundless treasures that it holds in store.

Keep attentive to beauty today. Whenever you notice something of beauty, give thanks to God.




10 Dec

Te Whiti o Rongomai, Prophet of Parihaka, is a remarkable example of a peacemaker from our history:

Te Whiti o Rongomai was born at Ngāmotu near New Plymouth, about 1831. He was educated by missionaries and developed an intense love of the Bible. During the turbulent 1860s he sought a peaceful means of fostering Māori claims. At Parihaka he built a model community, and after the war encouraged his people to resist peacefully the unjust occupation of confiscated land. This led to conflict with the government. On 5 November 1881 armed constabulary entered Parihaka. They found the fences pulled down to allow them in and were met by children chanting songs. Te Whiti was arrested and imprisoned without trial for a year. He died in 1907.
Te Whiti’s emblem is the white feather, which signifies glory to God on high, peace on earth and goodwill to all.