Day 7 “Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh”
Hosea 6:1-6 – (v6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice)
Matthew 6:19-21 – (v21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also)
The prophet Hosea is known for his cry for justice and love to override religious ritual and regulations. We are called to make a treasure of our expression of love and our work for justice and to let that be the offering that we place before the manger. We know that God does not want our riches or burnt offerings, but rather that God’s power works through our poverty: “I have no silver or gold”. The Lord desires our loving hearts, filled with mercy, truly penitent and desiring change.
Let us then prepare the gift of a heart full of love. Kneeling in worship requires hearts that are contrite for the sin that divides us and obedient to the One we serve. This obedience revives, heals and reconciles everything that is broken or wounded in us, around us, and among us as Christians.
Unity is the gift offered to us by Christ. We grow in communion as we share the graces our different traditions have received, acknowledging that the source of all our gifts is the Lord.
Prayer God, through your prophets you have called us to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with you. In Christ, you have shown us what that looks like. Through your Holy Spirit you continually enable us to hear your words, to follow Christ’s example, and to live as his disciples. So, as we gather at the manger, heal our wounds, reconcile our divisions and hold us together in your love.Amen.
Hymn Verse Vainly we offer each ample oblation; vainly with gifts would his favour secure richer by far is the heart's adoration; dearer to God are the prayers of the poor. Brightest and best of the sons of the morning, dawn on our darkness, and lend us your aid; star of the east, the horizon adorning, guide where our infant Redeemer is laid. Reginald Heber (1783-1826)
Global: Climate justice is being recognised as an expression of social justice with which churches can act together on a global scale. Why is this the case?
Local: Sometimes we talk of Christian Unity being advanced more easily when local churches work together on a specific project, often one involving an expression of social justice. How have you experienced this in your local area?
Personal: How do you consider the importance of church as a place for offering worship and as a place from which to call for social justice?
Go and Do
Global: Take time today to campaign for global justice. Visit the websites of CTBI agency partners (see https://ctbi.org.uk/membership/) to take part in their current campaign actions for social justice.
Local: Identify projects in your local area that need more support, and work together as churches to assist them.
Personal: Consider an issue of social justice that you’ve not been involved with previously and take time to find out more and take action.