Archive for the ‘January 4: Eleventh Day of Christmas’ Category

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Christmas   Leave a comment

Adoration of the Shepherds (1609), by Caravaggio

Active God of grace, we laud and magnify your wondrous Name.

Christmas Day is nearly upon us again.

This annual reminder of your gracious love

fills us with awe and wonder

as we consider the ultimate purpose of the Messiah.

May we therefore thank you with our



and deeds,

for your glory and the benefit of others.

In your Name we pray.






A Prayer for Those Suffering from Holiday Grief   Leave a comment

Christmas Tree

Image Source = DRO4


Loving God,

the annual celebration of your incarnation in the form of Jesus approaches.

This should be a happy and blessed occasion.

Yet many people grieve the absence of one or more friends or family members

whom distance,



or death separate from them.

Bestow upon those who grieve

the consolation of your Holy Spirit,

that they may rejoice in your love and mercy.

We pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

fully human and fully divine.  Amen.

Kenneth Randolph Taylor

December 7, 2009

A Christmas Prayer   Leave a comment

An Eighth-Century Mosaic of Jesus, Ravenna, Italy

May you recognize and welcome incarnations of God around you

and inside you everyday.

May we see the image of God in each other,

treat each other accordingly,

and strive to do better in this regard when we fail.

And, on this and every other day,

may we remember the rest of the story of Jesus’ life.

In the name of God, who loves us all, and whose grace alone empowers us to accomplish all these goals. Amen.


O Blessed Mother   4 comments

Madonna and Child, St. John’s Anglican Church, Ashfield, New Wouth Wales, Australia

O Blessed Mother,

How did you feel when

You learned you were pregnant

Outside of wedlock?


O Blessed Mother,

How did you feel when

The anonymous, thronging crowds

Ignored you in your hour of need in Bethlehem?


O Blessed Mother,

How did you feel when

You experienced birth pangs,

As well as the stresses of parenthood?


O Blessed Mother,

How did you feel when

Your eldest son confused you,

Then seemed to reject you?


O Blessed Mother,

How did you feel when

You watched your eldest son die?


O Blessed Mother,

How did you feel when

You buried your eldest son?


O Blessed Mother,

How did you feel when

You discovered your resurrected son?


O Blessed Mother,

How did you feel when

You ascended and became

Queen of Heaven?


O Blessed Mother,

Strong and humble,

Faithful and human,

Intercede for us.


Kenneth Randolph Taylor

May 30, 1997

Piercing the Darkness   1 comment

Midnight Sun, Nordkapp, Norway

Image Source = Yan Zhang


In the midst of

The darkness

Of night


Of human brokenness,

Divine light

Burst forth

To bridge the gap










Yet in the shadow in of

Another darkness–


Yet even that darkness


(In Time)

To Divine Intervention.


The light shines in the darkness,

And frightens us,

For the darkness is familiar.

God comes to us,

And we turn away,

Out of fear,

Or willfulness,

or misplaced certainty.


God challenges our traditions,

So we choose the familiar path,

The road well-traveled.



The narrative can be different.

We can–

We must–

Follow the light,

Walk out of our cave,


Embrace the way of God.


DECEMBER 17, 2009

Nativity   1 comment

Relief of the Nativity, St. Peter’s Cathedral, Worms, Germany

God incarnate

In full humanness


Yet mighty

A mystery

To venerate

Not to attempt to understand

Kenneth Randolph Taylor

December 21, 2009

Eleventh Day of Christmas   8 comments

Above:  An Eastern Orthodox Icon of the Twelve Apostles

Image Source = Stamp

What Do You Want?

JANUARY 4, 2021


1 John 3:7-10 (New Jerusalem Bible):

Children, do not let anyone lead you astray.

Whoever acts uprightly is upright,

just as he is upright.

Whoever lives sinfully belongs to the devil,

since the devil has been a sinner from the beginning.

This was the purpose of the appearing of the Son of God,

to undo the work of the devil.

No one who is a child of God sins

because God’s seed remains in him.

Nor can he sin, because he is a child of God.

This is what distinguishes

the children of God from the children of the devil;

whoever does not live uprightly

and does not love his brother

is not from God.

Psalm 98:1, 7-9 (New Jerusalem Bible):

Sing a new song to Yahweh,

for he has performed wonders,

his saving power is in his right hand and his holy arm.

Let the sea thunder, and all that it holds,

the world and all who live in it.

Let the rivers clap their hands,

and the mountains shout for joy together,

at Yahweh’s coming, for he is coming

to judge the earth;

he will judge the world with saving justice

and the nations with fairness.

John 1:35-42 (New Jerusalem Bible):

The next day as John stood there again with two of his disciples, Jesus went past, and John said,

Look, there is the lamb of God.

And the two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.  Jesus turned round, saw them following and said,

What do you want?

They answered,


–which means Teacher–

where do you live?

He replied,

Come and see;

so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him that day.  It was about the tenth hour.

One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, brother of Simon Peter.  The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother and say to him,

We have found the Messiah

–which means the Christ–and he took Simon to Jesus.  Jesus looked at him and said,

You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas

–which means Rock.

The Collect:

O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


What do we want from Jesus?

Do we seek validation for all our opinions or do we look for a challenge?  Do we seek a road to wealth via faith or do we look for one who reminds us of our responsibilities to the less fortunate?  Do we seek a martyr and hero or a Savior and Lord?

Jesus refuses to fit into our neat, theological boxes, which are vehicles of idolatry.  He is frequently not socially respectable, keeping company with those at the margins of society.  The maxim, “He who lies with dogs, rises with fleas” does not apply to Jesus.  Jesus is neither a mighty warrior nor a meek, mild-mannered person.  This is a figure who knows how to use a whip yet is deeply compassionate.  He challenges our preconceptions.

And that is how it should be.  Thanks be to God!


Written on June 7, 2010