Advent Windows

Back in the Spring we were all cheered by the lovely pictures of rainbows which appeared in windows. We invite local residents (both children and adults!) to use the period of Advent to build up a window display of the Nativity to brighten up the windows of Dilton Marsh and Westbury once again.

In the list below we offer a daily quote from the bible and a suggestion for that day’s ‘make’. By Christmas Day we hope that you will have a complete picture of a nativity scene in your window for passers-by to enjoy.

We will also be offering a daily reflection entitled ‘Pop Up Advent’ on our Holy Trinity Church Dilton Marsh and All Saints Church Westbury Facebook pages to tie in with the Advent Windows

Tess Brocksopp

December 1st:
Isaiah 9 v 2: The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.

Make a star.

‘Only in the darkness can you see the stars’
Martin Luther King Jnr

Dear Lord please fill our hearts with light and hope this Christmas. Amen

Liz Lee, Pastoral Assistant @ Holy Trinity Church

December 2nd:
Luke 1 v 26-33: God sent the Angel Gabriel to Mary, ‘You will bear a son and you are to call him Jesus
Make the Angel Gabriel.

Ruth Hann, Church Warden @Westbury

December 3rd:
Luke 1 v 35: ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’.

Make a dove.

The dove is a sign of God presence with us and within us – from Noah and his family on the Ark to Jesus at his baptism at the start of his ministry. God gives His gift of the Holy Spirit to each one of us to empower us to be the messengers of his love for humankind

Lord Thank you for your gift of the Holy Spirit – freely given to remind us of your love for us and empower us to bring that message of love and salvation to others. Amen

Ashley Jones, Lay Pioneering Minister @WHTeam

December 4th:
Luke 1 v 46-47: Mary’s song, ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour’.

Make Mary.

This text is the first line of Mary’s Song of Praise, also known as The Magnificat, a beautiful song which is often sung at Evensong. 

Feeling blessed, Mary praises God and puts all her trust in Him. This is despite the profound implications of The Angel Gabriel’s amazing announcement! 

Dear Lord, Let us, like Mary, experience the joy of worship. Let us put our trust in you today and in the year to come. Amen.

Tess Brocksopp, Pastoral Assistant @ Holy Trinity Church

December 5th:
Matthew 1 v 20: An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, ‘Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, she has been blessed by the Holy Spirit.’

Make Joseph.

Joseph, a humble carpenter, at first must have felt upset and anxious that his faith in God was being tested.  However Joseph had a deep faith and believed in the power of God and so was ready to accept God’s will.

Dear God, though we may not always understand your will, please give us faith to put our trust in you.  Amen

Jean Jane, Pastoral Assistant @ All Saints Church

December 6th:
Luke 2 v 1-3. Caesar Augustus issued a decree and everyone travelled to their own town to register.
Make a donkey.

We have spent a lot of time in our own town and in our own homes this year. We have become more aware of the blessings of our surroundings and seen afresh things that perhaps we have taken for granted. So, what has struck you anew? What would you like to give thanks for? 

Heavenly Father, Thank you for our town, our village, our homes. Help us never to take for granted the warmth and security that we have and help us to be mindful of those who have neither. Be close to all those who are homeless or far away from home, that they may know your peace and comfort, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Melanie Otto, Team Curate @ WHTeam

December 7th:
Luke 2 v 4-5. Joseph went with Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a long journey.

Make a lantern.

Joseph sets us an example of following the rules and regulations set out by the Emperor. We also have to follow the ways of living which Jesus gives us, and at the moment, we have to follow the rules and regulations to prevent the spread of Covid.

Dear Lord and Father, help us to remember daily living as Jesus taught us. Amen

Janet Likeman, Licensed Lay Minister @ WHTeam

December 8th:
Luke 2 v 7. There was no room for them at the inn.

Make the stable.

Mary and Joseph sought shelter in Bethlehem and were turned away many times before finding a welcome. There are many people who are forced to make a journey to a strange place for many different reasons or unable to ‘find room at the inn’. This Christmas let’s think of refugees, strangers and the homeless with kindness and generosity.

Lord, be with those who are without the shelter and warmth that we take for granted. We pray that they may find welcome and hospitality this Christmas and always. Amen 

Beth Thomas, Church Warden @ Westbury

December 9th:
Luke 2 v 7. The time came for Mary to have her baby. She wrapped him in cloths and put him in a manger.

Make the baby Jesus in the manger.

As we race about with our shopping trolleys stocking up for whatever kind of festivities we are able to have this year, don’t forget that the baby seat on the trolley is a reminder the baby should be at the centre of our Christmas.

Lord becoming a parent is both joyful and terrifying. Help us to remember
that Mary held hope in her arms and nursed him. Every baby is a hope for the future but you Jesus are ‘the’ hope for the future. Amen.

Sharon Jones, Worship Leader @First Steps to Worship, Westbury

December 10th:
Luke 2 v 8. There were shepherds out in the fields tending their flocks.
Make some shepherds.

The story of the lowly shepherds tending their flocks being the first to hear the good news of Jesus’ birth reminds us that we are all welcome to receive God’s love.

Lord God, be with us as we go about our daily lives and help us to be like the Shepherds; ready to hear and share your message of love. Amen

Cliff Husband, Heytesbury Deanery Synod Rep @ Dilton Marsh

December 11th:
Luke 2 v 9-12. An angel appeared, ‘I bring you good news, this very day a Saviour has been born’.

Make this angel.

I am God’s messenger and I bring you good news. How often have we wished for this over the last few months? Do we have the courage to trust in God, now and always?

Lord, we thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus and we wait for his coming again. Amen

Ruth Hann, Choir @ All Saints Church Westbury

December 12th:
Luke 2 v 13-14. A multitude of angels sang ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests’.

Make some singing angels.

The heavenly choir of angels announced the birth of Jesus; the arrival of God in human form to walk the Earth to spread His eternal message of love.

Praise the Lord. May your holy angels guard us and guide always. Amen

Garth Brocksopp, Churchwarden @ Dilton Marsh and Brokerswood

December 13th:
Luke 2 v 15. The shepherds said, ‘Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened.’

Make some sheep.

I love the way that the heralding of Jesus’ arrival spurred the
shepherds to amazement, then movement: across the hillside at
night, to find that remarkable nativity. Likewise, our response to the same glad tidings should be a sense of wonder followed by action, as we explore what Christmas might mean for us – and a world in need of good news.

Gracious God, as we wonder at the good news of your coming, move us this day to serve and follow you, For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Bishop Andrew Bishop of Ramsbury, Diocese of Salisbury

December 14th:
Luke 2 v 17-18. The shepherds saw the baby and were amazed and told everyone what they had seen.

Make some animals for the stable.

With all the animals sharing their stable With baby Jesus in the hay,
Mother Mary’s radiant face The Shepherds hearts filled with glee.

Dear God, we pray for the homeless, that they will find shelter and warmth,
as Mary and Joseph did when there was no room at the inn. Amen

Lily Munday, Pastoral Assistant @Holy Saviour Westbury

December 15th:
Matthew 2 v 1. Meanwhile, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem.
Make the first king.

These were the most unusual and unexpected first visitors to the new-born King, bearing the most strange and wonderful gifts. Yet, they were accepted
and welcomed, and their gifts received graciously. May we be open to all that God wants to give us this Christmas and in our lives: his love, grace and peace.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ and for all he offers
us – his life, his love, grace and peace.

Rev’d Rebecca Harris Rector, Westbury & Westbury Leigh

December 16th:
Matthew 2 v 7. The wise men asked ‘Where is the one who has been born King?’ They travelled on to Bethlehem.

Make a camel.

We often use the terms ‘wise men, Magi, Astrologers’ interchangeably, but I think
there is something definite about wise men who follow the path to Jesus. Journeying with
Jesus is an adventure that has inspired countless men, women and children through the years. The wise men continued in their quest to find the True King, will you?

Lord, as we journey towards Christ, will you keep us on your
path and protect us from all temptations that seek to divert or distract us. Amen

Rev’d Caroline Husband Vicar, Brokerswood & Dilton Marsh @WHTM

December 17th:
Matthew 2 v 9-10. The star, which they had been following, stopped over the place where Jesus lay.

Make the second king.

There are many theories about the Star of Bethlehem. Whatever the explanation, all seem to agree that this very unusual cosmic event
was quite spectacular and of overwhelming importance.

Dear Lord, Let us, like the wise men, follow the star this Christmas and let it lead us to Jesus.Amen.

Tess Brocksopp, Pastoral Assistant, tea and cake @ Holy Trinity Church WHTM

December 18th:
Matthew 2 v 11. They knelt and worshipped him.

Make the third king.

It was a long and dangerous journey from my palace to this poor stable. Yet this baby fills me with awe and wonder and is worthy of my worship and love. I give my gift and my heart!

Dear God, Please help us to follow you and offer our praise, our thanks and our lives, in Jesus’ name. Amen

Peter Jane, Musician @ First Steps to Worship

December 19th:
Matthew 2 v 11. They brought out their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Make the three gifts.

What great gifts! Gold fitting for a King, Frankincense for worship and prayer, myrrh for medicinal needs and prophecy.

We thank you Lord for the great gifts you bestow on us daily as the wise men gave great gifts to baby Jesus. Amen

Sue Stanley Pastoral Assistant @Holy Trinity Church Dilton Marsh WHTM

December 20th:
Matthew 2 v 12. The wise men returned to their own country by a different route.

Make some camels.

I’m sure we can all relate to what “taking a different route” means in 2020! Just as the wise men were warned by an angel, so warning messages have peppered our daily lives, as we have been told to do things differently this year.
But so often, the different route offers us a fresh view on life, new learning
opportunities, and seeing things as others might see them. But in all these, God in Christ is our constant, our companion, and his love and wisdom go before us – not unlike the star guiding those first wise men.

Lord God, our journey through Advent this year, will be as unpredictable and confusing as that first Advent season. Guide us by your Spirit, we pray, and may our trust in you, bring us to that wonderful joy in meeting you afresh in Jesus. Amen.

The Venerable Alan Jeans, Archdeacon of Sarum @Salisbury Diocese

December 21st:
Luke 2 v 21.On the eighth day the baby was officially named Jesus.

Make the word JESUS.

God chooses Jesus’ name. Jesus is called Prince of Peace, Light of the World and Emmanuel, which means ‘God with us’. How wonderful that God knows us all by name and invites us to shine for Jesus in our communities

Lord Jesus, help us to be your shining lights in our homes and in our communities. Amen

Make a candle out of card and put your name on it. Place it in your window, let your light shine for Jesus into the community.

Claire Horton, Lay Minister and Rural Field Officer @Sarum Archdeaconry, Salisbury Diocese

December 22nd:
Psalm 100: Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the lord with gladness. Come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God.

Make some trumpets for the angels.

Psalm 100 is also known, by some, as ‘A Psalm of Thanksgiving ‘
and it as we approach the end of the year it is time to cast aside all the negative thing that have happen and give thanks for all the positive things that have happened. A new awareness of the world around us, our countryside, our neighbours, our community and our family. So, lets us give
thanks and raise our voices in our carols for all that is good.

Dear Lord, as Christmas begins let it remind us that the baby born in Bethlehem has given us purpose for living, and let us entrust what happens next to us in his hands as he has promised to walk with us always. Amen

Lynne Vercoe, White Horse Team Administrator

December 23rd:
Isaiah 9 v 6: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be on his shoulders. He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

There have been times during this year when our world leaders and their advisors have been found wanting. We realise that we all fallible and imperfect, so we look in awe on Jesus who is perfect, in whom nothing is
wanting, who is the wise and mighty God, the Prince of Peace and the wonderful counsellor.

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus who stands far above all human leaders, and in whom nothing is lacking – may we trust in him and his perfect will, now and always. Amen.

Rev’d Rebecca Harris, White Horse Ministry Team Rector

December 24th:
Ensure that all the people and the animals are on your finished picture for your window display and that baby Jesus is safe in his manger.

In our everyday lives, going about our ‘to do’ lists and activities have we been aware of God’s calling to us? Is it time to pause, to ask, listen: “What is it Lord? Here I am”

May the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, the
perseverance of the wise men, the obedience of Joseph and
Mary, and the peace of the Christ child be yours this Christmas;
may the Lord bless you and keep you, Amen

Rev’d Caroline Husband, Team Vicar White Horse Team Ministry

December 25th: