Advent 3 – Courageous

This resource has been put together by the Worship Committee to encourage different ways to look at and think about themes over the period of Advent, whether through the medium of poetry, imagery, audio or video of different sorts. We have taken, as a starting point, Bishop Steven Croft’s course on the Beatitudes, and what they might mean for the Church in Oxfordshire.

He boils the whole passage down into three key words, which we will explore over the first three Sundays of Advent. This week’s theme is “Courageous”.

There is no wrong way to use these resources. Click on the images below to explore …

Video Audio Poem

Link to the gospel reading for the third Sunday in Advent: John 1:6-28.

Despised and rejected
by Christina Rosetti

My sun has set, I dwell
In darkness as a dead man out of sight;
And none remains, not one, that I should tell
To him mine evil plight
This bitter night.
I will make fast my door
That hollow friends may trouble me no more.

‘Friend, open to Me.’—Who is this that calls?
Nay, I am deaf as are my walls:
Cease crying, for I will not hear
Thy cry of hope or fear.
Others were dear,
Others forsook me: what art thou indeed
That I should heed
Thy lamentable need?
Hungry should feed,
Or stranger lodge thee here?

‘Friend, My Feet bleed.
Open thy door to Me and comfort Me.’
I will not open, trouble me no more.
Go on thy way footsore,
I will not rise and open unto thee.

‘Then is it nothing to thee? Open, see
Who stands to plead with thee.
Open, lest I should pass thee by, and thou
One day entreat My Face
And howl for grace,
And I be deaf as thou art now.
Open to Me.’

Then I cried out upon him: Cease,
Leave me in peace:
Fear not that I should crave
Aught thou mayst have.
Leave me in peace, yea trouble me no more,
Lest I arise and chase thee from my door.
What, shall I not be let
Alone, that thou dost vex me yet?

But all night long that voice spake urgently:
‘Open to Me.’
Still harping in mine ears:
‘Rise, let Me in.’
Pleading with tears:
‘Open to Me that I may come to thee.’
While the dew dropped, while the dark hours were cold:
‘My Feet bleed, see My Face,
See My Hands bleed that bring thee grace,
My Heart doth bleed for thee,
Open to Me.’

So till the break of day:
Then died away
That voice, in silence as of sorrow;
Then footsteps echoing like a sigh
Passed me by,
Lingering footsteps slow to pass.
On the morrow
I saw upon the grass
Each footprint marked in blood, and on my door
The mark of blood for evermore.

Image credits:
Movement” (cropped) by Paul Ebbage (License)
Motion” (cropped) by Heinrichs1 (License)
Light a Candle for Peace” by Megapixx~ (License)