Welcome to the Ten Foot Church online calendar!

Here you'll find a daily:

  • bible verse
  • reflection
  • blessing
  • phone wallpaper

This calendar is created and maintained by Peter's House members! Each image and reflection are designed and written specifically for each day of advent. We hope you enjoy! 

-Antonia, Nichole, Nico, and Saskia

24th December, Day of 24 of Advent (1 day until Christmas) 

 

 

At some point during this holiday season I can imagine you've felt at a loss. Maybe it's the first Christmas without a family member. Maybe you've recently split ways with a loved one. Maybe, like me, you're far from home and not quite sure what to do, not quite sure how to spend your first Christmas that's so different than previous ones. The one thing that's so important, yet most difficult, to remember is that the light that means so much this season is there to illuminate you. It will guide you where you're needed, and remind you it has brought you where it has because that's where you're needed. Focus less on the day to day, and more on the being. Remember that it's less about the fact that it may be Christmas Eve, and more that it's about the fact that you're helping another, being there for another, this Christmas Eve. 

 

 

How the Light Comes 

I cannot tell you
how the light comes.

What I know
is that it is more ancient
than imagining.

That it travels
across an astounding expanse
to reach us.

That it loves
searching out
what is hidden
what is lost
what is forgotten
or in peril
or in pain.

That it has a fondness
for the body
for finding its way
toward flesh
for tracing the edges
of form
for shining forth
through the eye,
the hand,
the heart.

I cannot tell you
how the light comes,
but that it does.
That it will.
That it works its way
into the deepest dark
that enfolds you,
though it may seem
long ages in coming
or arrive in a shape
you did not foresee.

And so
may we this day
turn ourselves toward it.
May we lift our faces
to let it find us.
May we bend our bodies
to follow the arc it makes.
May we open
and open more
and open still

to the blessed light
that comes.

—Jan Richardson

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 24 

23rd December, Day 23 of Advent 

 

All people who inspire others are obsessed with one thing. They all have that thing in their lives that sets their soul on fire and when you burn for something, when you really believe in it, you can reach things that seemed impossible. You spread your light and inspire others. We should all have something like this in our lives. It could be your family and your friends, your job or a hobby because it fills us with joy.
The one thing that should help fuel our fire, our passions, is Jesus, the light of the world. Imagine what could spark in your life if you placed your trust, your faith, in him.

 

 

What Fire Comes to Sing in You
A Blessing

This blessing
had big ideas
about what it wanted
to say,
what it wanted you
to know,
to see.

This blessing wanted
to open your eyes
to the joy that lives
in such strange company
with sorrow—
wanted to make sure
to tell you,
lest you forget,
that no matter how long
it seems absent,
no matter how quiet
it becomes,
joy has never
been far from you,
holding a space
of celebration,
watching for you,
humming as it
keeps vigil.

But now that
it comes time
to speak it—
comes time to
lay these words
on your brow,
your beating heart—
all this blessing
can think to say is

Look—
your life
a candle,
this day
a match.
Strike it and see
what blazes,
what fire comes
to sing in you.

—Jan Richardson
from The Cure for Sorrow

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 23 

22nd December, Day 22 of Advent (Winter Solstice) 

 

Nights can be seen from two different views.
Often nights are connected to darkness and fear in the bible. As a child sometimes I was afraid to go to bed because of nightmares. And I have to admit sometimes I'm still afraid because I feel like my emotions are 10 times stronger in the night when everything is quiet and I am alone.
But there is also the other side. When they write about the night in the bible it is always close to the day and the light. Without darkness there wouldn't be light and the more darkness we experience the more we miss and appreciate the light.

"The darker the night the better we can see the stars."

And like we wrote in one of the other reflections: the light of Jesus will always be stronger than the darkness. Nights are a time to relax, rest and recover. They are just a sign that there will be a new day tomorrow and it is full of opportunities.

 

 

Blessing for the Longest Night

All throughout these months
as the shadows
have lengthened,
this blessing has been
gathering itself,
making ready,
preparing for
this night.

It has practiced
walking in the dark,
traveling with
its eyes closed,
feeling its way
by memory
by touch
by the pull of the moon
even as it wanes.

So believe me
when I tell you
this blessing will
reach you
even if you
have not light enough
to read it;
it will find you
even though you cannot
see it coming.

You will know
the moment of its
arriving
by your release
of the breath
you have held
so long;
a loosening
of the clenching
in your hands,
of the clutch
around your heart;
a thinning
of the darkness
that had drawn itself
around you.

This blessing
does not mean
to take the night away
but it knows
its hidden roads,
knows the resting spots
along the path,
knows what it means
to travel
in the company
of a friend.

So when
this blessing comes,
take its hand.
Get up.
Set out on the road
you cannot see.

This is the night
when you can trust
that any direction
you go,
you will be walking
toward the dawn.

—Jan Richardson
from The Cure for Sorrow

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 22 

21st December, Day 21 of Advent 

 

Patience is a hard word. It implies waiting for something, but it also implies stasis. It implies a lack of movement, a sort of being suspended in time. What it says in James, thought implies something different. Yes, the farmer has patience, but they aren't static in the waiting. They water their crops, maintain the land, do constant work every day, while having patience for that official harvest. They're strong in the waiting. What this means to me, is that waiting can mean being active. It can imply doing things, using the time you have to help improve things. You can be active up until you've achieved the harvest, where you can lay your head down and let God welcome you home.

 

 

 

Another Name for Patience

Beloved,
don’t tell me
to be patient.
I am done
with this idle
not-doing,
this waiting that
wastes
and dulls.

Tell me, beloved,
to strengthen my heart.
Tell me to look to the ones
who spoke fire.
Tell me there is work to do
in the waiting,
a field to be cultivated,
a place to labor
during the watching

until,
beloved,
I lay myself down
among the
ready harvest,
spent and
drenched with the rains
early and
late.

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 21 

20th December, Day 20 of Advent 

 

 

 

 

A Blessing Called Sanctuary

You hardly knew
how hungry you were
to be gathered in,
to receive the welcome
that invited you to enter
entirely—
nothing of you
found foreign or strange,
nothing of your life
that you were asked
to leave behind
or to carry in silence
or in shame.

Tentative steps
became settling in,
leaning into the blessing
that enfolded you,
taking your place
in the circle
that stunned you
with its unimagined grace.

You began to breathe again,
to move without fear,
to speak with abandon
the words you carried
in your bones,
that echoed in your being.

You learned to sing.

But the deal with this blessing
is that it will not leave you alone,
will not let you linger
in safety,
in stasis.

The time will come
when this blessing
will ask you to leave,
not because it has tired of you
but because it desires for you
to become the sanctuary
that you have found—
to speak your word
into the world,
to tell what you have heard
with your own ears,
seen with your own eyes,
known in your own heart:

that you are beloved,
precious child of God,
beautiful to behold,*
and you are welcome
and more than welcome
here.

—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 20 

19th December, Day 19 of Advent


 

 

 

 

Prepare
A Blessing for Advent

Strange how one word
will so hollow you out.
But this word
has been in the wilderness
for months.
Years.

This word is what remained
after everything else
was worn away
by sand and stone.
It is what withstood
the glaring of sun by day,
the weeping loneliness of
the moon at night.

Now it comes to you
racing out of the wild,
eyes blazing
and waving its arms,
its voice ragged with desert
but piercing and loud
as it speaks itself
again and again:

Prepare, prepare.

It may feel like
the word is leveling you,
emptying you
as it asks you
to give up
what you have known.

It is impolite
and hardly tame,
but when it falls
upon your lips
you will wonder
at the sweetness,

like honey
that finds its way
into the hunger
you had not known
was there.

—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 19 

18th December, Day 18 of Advent 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hardest Blessing

If we cannot
lay aside the wound
then let us say
it will not always
bind us.

Let us say
the damage
will not eternally
determine our path.

Let us say
the line of our life
will not forever follow
the tearing, the rending
we have borne.

Let us say
that forgiveness
can take some practice,
can take some patience,
can take a long
and struggling time.

Let us say
that to offer
the hardest blessing
we will need
the deepest grace,
that to forgive
the sharpest pain
we will need
the fiercest love,
that to release
the ancient ache
we will need
new strength
for every day.

Let us say
the wound
will not be
our final home;
that through it
runs a road,
a way we would not
have chosen
but on which
we will finally see
forgiveness,
so long practiced,
coming toward us
shining with the joy
so well deserved.

 —Jan Richardson

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 18 

17th December, Day 17 of Advent 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost Blessing

It doesn’t always
mean to go astray.
But somehow
this blessing knew
it would find you here—

here in this place
where even you
don’t know where
you are.

This blessing
regrets to say
it left its compass
at home.
It is without map,
chart, GPS.
It has hardly
any native sense
of direction.

This blessing
appears to be
nearly useless,
in fact.

But—
and I know
this might not be
encouraging—
it purely loves
getting lost.

This blessing
has learned to breathe
when it has left
every landmark behind,
when it has seen
its last signpost,
when dark has
begun to fall
while it is
still far from home.

This blessing
knows the prayers to say
when it has misplaced
its way,
the chants
that will help it
find the path
where it seems
no path could ever be.

This blessing
is good at finding
fellow travelers.

It loves the company
of the lost,
the wandering,
the confused,
the ones who have been
walking in circles
for days;

loves helping them
find water, shelter,
shade;

loves keeping vigil
so they can
safely rest.

The point of this blessing
is that it has
no real point.

It just wants you to know
you are not alone,
have never been,
will never be—

that it will go with you,
will wander with you
as long as you want,
as long as it takes,
gladly being lost with you
until your way
appears.

—Jan Richardson

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 17 

16th December, Day 16 of Advent 

 

 

 

 

Intercessions Day 7 

Almighty God, 
Through your angels at the
time you told the shepherds 
'do not be afraid". 
We pray that we may 
experience your promises 
as strength and encouragement 
our our life's journey. 
With you alongside us and 
sheltered by your love, 
we can face the 
challenges and fears - 
not just in Advent. 

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 16 

15th December, Day 15 of Advent 

 

 

 

 

Intercessions Day 6 

Compassionate God, 
We bring before you 
those people who are sick 
and are fearful of the 
approach of death. 
We pray that they may 
not feel left alone 
on this journey. 
Put other people alongside 
them who will accompany them
and tell them about your love. 
Your love is so great that 
death speaks only a 
penultimate word. 
It is your love that has 
the final word, 
embracing every human person - 
in life, in dying, and 
beyond death itself. 

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 15 

14th December, Day 14 of Advent 

 

 

 

 

Intercessions Day 5 

Gracious God, 
We bring before you 
those people who feel 
they have been cut off 
and treated badly. 
We pray that they may know
they have your support. 
Put other people alongside them
who take their viewpoint seriously, 
people who are 
concerned about them, 
and will help them to find 
their place in 
sustainable relationships. 

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 14 

13th December, Day 13 of Advent 

 

 

 

 

Intercessions Day 4 

Merciful God, 
We bring before you 
those people who fear for 
their lives and have to 
flee their homeland because 
of war and terrorism. 
We pray that they may be 
sheltered by your love. 
Put other people alongside 
them, who will help them to 
deal with their hard fate 
and to lead lives of
peace and security. 

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 13 

12th December, Day 12 of Advent 

 

 

 

 

Intercessions Day 3 

Loving God, 
We bring before you 
those people who feel they
are alone and abandoned, 
who no longer trust themselves 
to approach others. 
We pray that they may 
know your presence. 
Put other people alongside 
them, who will show them 
kindness and help them to break 
out of their loneliness. 

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 12 

11th December, Day 11 of Advent 

 

 

 

 

 

Intercessions Day 2 

Parent God, 
We bring before you 
this night those whom 
we love who are no longer 
with us on earth. 
We give thanks for the
life they have shown us, 
for all that we have learned 
from their living of life. 
We thank you for your 
love lived and shared 
through them. 

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 11 

10th December, Day 10 of Advent 

 

The next seven days will include an intercession instead of a blessing, based upon the intercessions read during the Service of Remembrance that the members of Peter's House attended in Leeds yesterday. Today's reflection based on the lead-in to those intercessions: 

For me, fear is a daily part of life. I'm in a new country, with customs I may not understand, unspoken rules, and everyone drives on the wrong side of the road compared to where I come from! I've been in Hull just over two weeks, now, and everything is new. I'm learning things slowly as I go, but I know there will be times I make mistakes. I'm afraid of failing, and I'm afraid of messing up. Before coming here, I was afraid of leaving everything I knew. Being here has pretty much consisted of trusting that God knows where I'm supposed to be, and that's terrifying. "Do not be afraid," the angels say, but that's difficult. Have you ever tried to tell someone to be unafraid? It's very much like telling them not to think of a pink elephant. That is, to say, counterproductive. I understand that not being afraid can seem impossible occasionally, so consider this: Be afraid, acknowledge that fear, and do whatever it takes to push through it. Be afraid, but remember that God is there to help you through it. 

 

 

Intercessions Day 1 

Gracious God, 
you send your angels 
to the shepherds, saying: 
"do not be afraid". 
Let us, like the shepherds, 
trust that you see 
our cares and fears - 
and that you raise us up 
and give us courage. 
So we bring our
intercessions to you. 

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 10 

9th December, Day 9 of Advent 

 

 

 

 

Blessing for the Brokenhearted

There is no remedy for love but to love more.
—Henry David Thoreau

Let us agree
for now
that we will not say
the breaking
makes us stronger
or that it is better
to have this pain
than to have done
without this love.

Let us promise
we will not
tell ourselves
time will heal
the wound,
when every day
our waking
opens it anew.

Perhaps for now
it can be enough
to simply marvel
at the mystery
of how a heart
so broken
can go on beating,
as if it were made
for precisely this—

as if it knows
the only cure for love
is more of it,

as if it sees
the heart’s sole remedy
for breaking
is to love still,

as if it trusts
that its own
persistent pulse
is the rhythm
of a blessing
we cannot
begin to fathom
but will save us
nonetheless.

—Jan Richardson

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 9 

8th December, Day 8 of Advent 

 

Sometimes, you take on the weight of everything you're carrying; you look around, see nobody you want to burden, and carry on one step at a time. You think that you have to stay strong for yourself and everyone else, and you're so focused on moving forward that everything starts to feel unbearable. It's alright to feel utterly lost, like the only thing you can do in the moment is sit down and cry. Crying is okay. It's not a sign of weakness, it simply shows that you're dealing with something emotional. You don't need to stay strong for yourself, you can choose to lean on the God who is present everywhere. You will never have to bear the weight of all you carry alone. God will help to strengthen you, and you can let others in your life share your burdens, as you offer to help with theirs.

 

 

Blessing of God 

God be your comfort, and strength; 
God be your hope and support; 
God be your light and your way; 
and the blessing of God, 
Creator, Redeemer, 
and Giver of Life, 
remain with you 
now and forever. 
Amen. 

New Zealand Prayer Book 

 

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 8 

7th December, Day 7 of Advent 

 

It is important to live in the present because it is the only time where we can change something. Change something in our life and the life of others. We don't have to worry about yesterday or tomorrow because God cares for us - always. Sometimes we just have to let things go because otherwise they will paralyze us. And by letting go I mean bringing and giving them to God. Maybe through praying, through worship, or through something else. We can trust in him, he is constant and loving. And if he is for us, who can be against us?

 

 

Blessing for What Lies Ahead

Do not look forward
to what may
happen tomorrow;
the same everlasting Father
who cares for you today
will take care of you
tomorrow and every day.
Either He will shield
you from suffering,
or He will give you
unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace, then,
put aside all anxious
thoughts and imaginations,
and say continually:
The Lord is my
strength and shield;
my heart has trusted in
Him and I am helped.
He is not only with me,
but in me and I in Him.

― Francis de Sales

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 7 

6th December, Day 6 of Advent 

 

 

 

 

Blessing of Courage

I cannot say
where it lives,
only that it comes
to the heart
that is open,
to the heart
that asks,
to the heart
that does not turn away.

It can take practice,
days of tugging at
what keeps us bound,
seasons of pushing against
what keeps our dreaming
small.

When it arrives,
it might surprise you
by how quiet it is,
how it moves
with such grace
for possessing
such power.

But you will know it
by the strength
that rises from within you
to meet it,
by the release
of the knot
in the center of
your chest
that suddenly lets go.

You will recognize it
by how still
your fear becomes
as it loosens its grip,
perhaps never quite
leaving you,
but calmly turning
into joy
as you enter the life
that is finally
your own.

—Jan Richardson
from The Cure for Sorrow

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 6 

5th December, Day 5 of Advent 

 

 

 

 

A Blessing for Traveling in the Dark

Go slow
if you can.
Slower.
More slowly still.
Friendly dark
or fearsome,
this is no place
to break your neck
by rushing,
by running,
by crashing into
what you cannot see.

Then again,
it is true:
different darks
have different tasks,
and if you
have arrived here unawares,
if you have come
in peril
or in pain,
this might be no place
you should dawdle.

I do not know
what these shadows
ask of you,
what they might hold
that means you good
or ill.
It is not for me
to reckon
whether you should linger
or you should leave.

But this is what
I can ask for you:

That in the darkness
there be a blessing.
That in the shadows
there be a welcome.
That in the night
you be encompassed
by the Love that knows
your name.

—Jan Richardson

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 5 

4th December, Day 4 of Advent 

 

 

 

 

Blessed Are You Who Bear the Light

Blessed are you
who bear the light
in unbearable times,
who testify
to its endurance
amid the unendurable,
who bear witness
to its persistence
when everything seems
in shadow
and grief.

Blessed are you
in whom
the light lives,
in whom
the brightness blazes—
your heart
a chapel,
an altar where
in the deepest night
can be seen
the fire that
shines forth in you
in unaccountable faith
in stubborn hope
in love that illumines
every broken thing
it finds.

– Jan Richardson

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day  4 

3rd December, Day 3 of Advent 

 

 

 

 

Drawing Near
A Blessing to Begin Advent

It is difficult to see it from here,
I know,
but trust me when I say
this blessing is inscribed
on the horizon.
Is written on
that far point
you can hardly see.
Is etched into
a landscape
whose contours you cannot know
from here.
All you know
is that it calls you,
draws you,
pulls you toward
what you have perceived
only in pieces,
in fragments that came to you
in dreaming
or in prayer.

I cannot account for how,
as you draw near,
the blessing embedded in the horizon
begins to blossom
upon the soles of your feet,
shimmers in your two hands.
It is one of the mysteries
of the road,
how the blessing
you have traveled toward,
waited for,
ached for
suddenly appears
as if it had been with you
all this time,
as if it simply
needed to know
how far you were willing
to walk
to find the lines
that were traced upon you
before the day
that you were born.

—Jan Richardson

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 3 

2nd December, Day 2 of Advent 

 

 

 

 

Blessing the House of the Heart

If you could see
how this blessing
shimmers inside you,
you would never wonder
whether there will be
light enough,
time enough,
room enough for you.

If you could see
the way this blessing
has inscribed itself
on every wall
of your heart,
writing its shining line
across every doorway,
tracing the edge
of every window
and table
and hall—

if you could see this,
you would never question
where home is
or whether it has
a welcome for you.

This blessing wishes
to give you
a glimpse.
It will not tell you
it has been waiting.
It will not tell you
it has been keeping watch.
It would not
want you to know
just how long
it has been holding
this quiet vigil
for you.

It simply wants you
to see what it sees,
wants you to know
what it knows—
how this blessing
already blazes in you,
illuminating every corner
of your broken
and beautiful heart.

—Jan Richardson
from The Cure for Sorrow

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 2 

1st December, Day 1 of Advent 

 

On this first day of Advent, I want you to remember where you're going. The past can be hard, the present can seem tough, and the future can look bleak. I'm not going to tell you that everything that has happened to you has happened for a reason, because that's not necessarily true. Whatever has brought you here, whatever struggles have placed you on the path you're on, I can only tell you that you're all the stronger for it, and that eventually there will come a day that you look around, see the light you've brought with you, and thank God for the endurance he's given you.

 

Blessed Are You Who Bear the Light

Blessed are you
who bear the light
in unbearable times,
who testify
to its endurance
amid the unendurable,
who bear witness
to its persistence
when everything seems
in shadow
and grief.

 Blessed are you
in whom
the light lives,

in whom
the brightness blazes—
your heart
a chapel,
an altar where
in the deepest night
can be seen
the fire that
shines forth in you
in unaccountable faith
in stubborn hope
in love that illumines
every broken thing
it finds.

– Jan Richardson

 

Phone Wallpaper, Day 1