As we anticipate the birthing day - 1st Sunday in Advent

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE on the 1st Sunday in Advent: We pray in solidarity with the peoples of the world

We wait in the silence of a new season, journeying from spring to summer, from Pentecost to Advent, from busyness to quiet.

We crouch with Mary on the straw of our messy lives, letting go of everything but this moment—and we wait. We listen. It is not yet time for labour.

As we anticipate the birthing-day of the one who brings good news, who cares for the careless and the uncared for, who heeds a fledgling’s fall, we think of our sisters and brothers around the world whose lives are disrupted—like Joseph’s, like Mary’s, like their extended families’—by cultural, economic or natural disaster; by war, terrorism and homelessness; by rejection and detention even at the borders of freedom;

we think of our sisters and brothers right here in Aotearoa: children whose lives are devastated, emotions shredded, teens dehumanised by neglect or abuse from those who should love them unconditionally—

and ask, what can we do?

And then we answer:

with People's Climate Marches, by supporting refugees, encouraging governments and banks to divest from fossil fuels investment, buying fairly traded goods and lobbying for a living wage.

By living our faith, nourishing our whānau of blood and of choice, being family to orphans and widows and strangers in our midst.      

As we await the gift of family, lovers, friends; the sacrament of food and wine, set at our tables or shared around the barbecue—with Andrew, may we demonstrate manaakitanga, welcome; not asking, “What do you believe? Whose side are you on?” but saying, ”Make yourself at home. All are welcome here. Come and see.”

May our lives be candles of hope, as we “enflesh the Spirit in divinely human ways”.


  • graphic by Peter Hays

  • Incarnation

  • Expectant!

acknowledgement & attributions

"The meaning of the incarnation has been debated since the beginning of Christianity. Although often associated with Jesus alone, the notion of incarnation can be understood most fully when it also includes Jesus’s followers, called, like Jesus, to enflesh the Spirit in divinely human ways" from Living the Questions, Incarnation: Divinely Human

photographs © bronwyn angela white (2015)—Kapiti, New Zealand

bronwyn angela white’s writing is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License