Advent calendar prayer and reflection for 16 December

Young people holding placards

Young people spoke out against climate change at a mass lobby of Parliament earlier this year

“What authority have you for acting like this?” 

Matthew 21:23

Jesus refuses to answer the question that the chief priests and the elders ask of him.

Throughout the gospels we see that Jesus rejects the usual model of power and authority.

He doesn’t lord it over others, show authority through wealth or possessions, or dictate orders to be followed.

Rather, he is born in a stable, shares meals with people on the edges of society, and leads a simple life. He invites us to follow him and empowers those he meets to “stand up” and be healed.

As we look around us we can see many things in our world that need to change. We can see situations of poverty, injustice, violence and division.

So often we can feel like we do not have the authority to act. We might feel like it is not our place, or that others may know more.

But if we don’t have the courage to make a difference then perhaps no one will. When we look around and see something that troubles us, why shouldn’t we be the one to do something about it?

We, too, can make time for those on the margins. We can listen and support each other to build a better life. We can help make the voices of those who are vulnerable heard and work together to create a world where all can flourish.

Advent prayer

God of power, pour out your Spirit upon us and give us the courage to act. To stand alongside our brothers and sisters and to do what we can so that all people may fulfil their true potential. Amen.

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