Follow The Star - The Great Invitation
12 Days of Reflections for Christmas & the New Year.
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A Salisbury Novena
‘May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.’ Psalm 90:17
In our diocesan Statement of Needs we asked for a Bishop with various characteristics. Bishop Stephen’s invitation to us all is to be caring, courageous, holy, transforming, unifying, visionary and visible.
Barnabas the Apostle
‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:11
God of love, your vision for our lives is greater than we can imagine and your ability to enable us to achieve is larger than we dare hope. In your gentleness, grant us your gift of encouragement, that looking with kindness on all that is within us, our strengths and our weaknesses, our talents and our failings, we may know the path you have laid before us and be granted the confidence to follow it to the end, in the company of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.’ Ephesians 4: 2-3
God of all peoples, you have placed within each one of us some glimpse of your truth. Help us all, who share in a common humanity, to know the value our diversity can bring to the formation of our character and to the universal quest for good.
Help all those who live in this diocese to be open to the needs and the insights of others, that, reaching across all that can divide us, we may be drawn together in mutual love and service, knowing one another not as enemies or rivals but as friends, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ Jeremiah 29:11
Loving God, the desire of those who seek you and the joy of those who find you, call us this day towards the vision of your kingdom. Strengthen our hope, renew our zeal, and deepen our love, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
‘Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds.’ Hebrews 10:23-24
Lord Jesus Christ, you taught is that you are known most profoundly among those who have the least, and that the poor are blessed indeed. May we who enjoy so much plenty be inspired by your call, echoed through the centuries by your Saints, to share what we have with others, that all might have enough to enjoy the life that is the free gift of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen
‘Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.’ Matthew 5:16
Almighty Father, in your redeeming love you have drawn us together into this community of worship and service.
Deepen our love for you, we pray, and grant that by our faithfulness in prayer and through the quality of our common life, others may be drawn towards your truth and discover your joy in their lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.’ Leviticus 19:2
O God, through the power of the Cross, you have called us into the mystical body of your Son. Help us, who feed on the bread of life in the Eucharist, to be drawn more closely to you through the Spirit, to discover our unity more profoundly with one another and to share your generous love with those with whom we share our lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
‘I hereby command you be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’ Joshua 1:9
Holy Spirit of God, wind of inspiration, fire of language,
guardian of truth, breathe anew on your waiting Church.
Refresh within our community your many gifts, that seeking out love with patience, gentleness and commitment, we may be re-formed each day into the glorious body of the eternal Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.’ Romans 12:2
Lord of creation, without you nothing can flourish, and nothing can be holy, pour out afresh your Spirit on your Church this day, that our doubt may be transformed into hope, our fear may be transformed into excitement and our despondency may be transformed into joy, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
‘This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ Psalm 118:24
Lord God, we dedicate ourselves to serve you faithfully and to follow Christ, to face the future with him, seeking his special purpose for our lives. Send us now to work and to witness freely, gratefully, and hopefully, in the power of the Holy Spirit, for the honour and glory of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
A Prayer for our Diocese
God of us all, you have poured on us a rich diversity of gifts and call us to offer all you have given us to your service and to one another. Bless all those who minister in this diocese, that in the beauty of worship, the resourcing of ministry, and the work of education, human lives would be transformed, and your love and truth would be known by ever more people, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Prayer for Bishop Stephen
God of our calling, you lead us wisely through the journey of our lives, ever revealing to us new possibilities of service and new places to make our home. Bless Bishop Stephen in his new ministry as Bishop of Salisbury, that through his work with us, the love, creativity, and joy of Jesus Christ would be more fully known in our communities, diocese, and our world, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen