Podcast Worship

Prayer for Monday 27 December 2021 (Festival of John, Apostle and Evangelist)

Listen to a service of Prayer for Monday 27 December 2021 (Festival of John, Apostle and Evangelist), including a reflection on the set reading from scripture

Whether or not John the Apostle and John the Evangelist are one and the same, the Church honours on this day the one who proclaims Jesus as the Word made flesh and who is ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’. John was one of the sons of Zebedee, along with James and Peter, who followed Jesus. John was there at the Transfiguration of Jesus on the holy mountain; he was there with Jesus at the last supper; he was there with Jesus in his agony in the garden; he was there with Jesus and his mother, standing at the foot of the cross; he was there with Jesus as a witness of his resurrection and ‘he saw and believed’. John was a witness to the Word, he proclaimed the Word and he lived and died witnessing to the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, who loved him and whom he loved. 


O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.


Merciful Lord, 
cast your bright beams of light upon the Church: 
that, being enlightened by the teaching 
of your blessed apostle and evangelist Saint John, 
we may so walk in the light of your truth 
that we may at last attain to the light of everlasting life; 
through Jesus Christ your incarnate Son our Lord, 
who is alive and reigns with you, 
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever.

Psalm 117

O praise the Lord, all you nations; 
praise him, all you peoples.

For great is his steadfast love towards us, 
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever.

Glory to the Father and to the Son 
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now 
and shall be for ever. Amen.

1 John 1 

We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life – this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us – we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 


Both the Gospel of John and his First Letter open with words that invite us to reflect upon a time of beginning. In his gospel he writes: In the beginning was the Word, and in his first letter he writes: We declare to you what was from the beginning. As we journey through these days that lie between our celebration of the Nativity of Christ and the start of a new calendar year, it is appropriate that we should pause and reflect upon that which has been there since the beginning of all time, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and on the difference that might make in our lives.

For those who are completely immersed in the secular world, Christmas is over. People are beginning to look at the boxes that will hold all those decorations for another year with a certain longing in their eyes. But, of course, Christmas is not over. The Church’s celebration of Christmas will go on until the Feast of Candlemas on 2nd February. So far, we have only witnessed the birth of the baby in Bethlehem and the worship of the shepherds. The Wise Men have not yet arrived in Bethlehem and the first steps towards making Christ known in the world have yet to be taken.

The birth of Christ is a moment of beginning. From the beginning of time, God has tried to communicate with humanity; God has tried to foster and maintain a relationship of faithfulness, humility, love and service. But … humanity’s resistance finally led God to take the most significant step of all … the step that would bring him into the totality of the human experience.

The opening of John’s gospel makes it clear that Jesus, the Word, was present from before the moment of creation: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. John, the same John, reinforces this message when he writes to the believers in western Asia Minor: We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life. John, who was both apostle and evangelist, is joining the shepherds in glorifying and praising God for all he had heard and seen as he had journeyed with Jesus throughout his earthly ministry.

Rather than being grateful that we have ‘survived’ Christmas 2021, we are called to consider what new beginning has opened for us. Too often, we join with those who rush to get back to those ‘normal’ ways of life. Too often we forget just how special the birth of Jesus was. Too often we forget to strip away the tinsel and commercialism and seek the small, vulnerable child who was born into this world in the humblest of circumstances.

Let us pray that Christmas 2021 might be a time of ‘beginning’ for each and every one of us. Let us pray that we might join John, apostle and evangelist, in telling the Good News of Christ’s birth with conviction and joy. Let us pray that, no matter what may befall us in the coming days and months, we might be ready to come to that stable in December 2022, changed and renewed, ready for yet another new beginning in the faith which excites and sustains us.

Prayers of intercession

Let us pray to God who keeps us in eternal life.

We give thanks for the light of the Gospel, entrusted to the Church throughout all ages. Guide all your faithful people to follow their Lord and fulfil his commands.

We pray that the world where Christ the Son of God has walked may be governed with justice and mercy. Grant that the spirit of love may prevail to bring peace in all its conflicts.

May the love of Christ shine in our homes and the places where we work. Uphold and empower all whose work in our community helps to bring healing of body, mind of spirit.

Have mercy on all whose lives are damaged because they have never known the blessing of human love. Restore their sense of dignity and worth. Help them to know that they are loved in Christ who died for them.

We give thanks for those who have tried to follow the light of Christ and have passed from this world. Grant them their place with blessed John and all the saints in the eternal love of heaven. 

We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.

Prayer for Christmas

Holy Child of Bethlehem,
born in a stable, laid in a manger,
no place is too low or mean for you to enter.
Come to us this Christmas time,
dwell in our hearts and homes,
and fill them with your love,
your peace,
now and always.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

The Grace

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore. Amen.