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Advent Meditation: Friday, December 6, 2019

By Gena Minnix

Psalm 16, 17, 22  •  Amos 5:1-17  •  Matthew 22:1-14

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
  Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
  and by night, but find no rest.

Yet you are holy,
  enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our ancestors trusted;
  they trusted, and you delivered them.” (Psalm 22:1-4)

Distress frequently bubbles up as questions. Why? How long? Where are you?

We groan and cry and lay awake at night, finding no rest. We all know the feeling. Our circumstances may differ, but our bodies not so much. Each of us feels pain, grief, anger, anxiety, shame, loneliness, and longing viscerally, in our bodies. It’s hard having human bodies that feel so much.  Distraction, avoidance, and numbing only work for a season; eventually distress bubbles up, undeniable. Where’s the shut-off switch? God where are you? Why aren’t you helping? No answer.

Yet, hope lies beneath. Somehow, as we put our distress into words, the bubbles burst. The surface stills. We see deeper and clearer than before. You are holy. And our distress is nothing new. Our ancestors also had bodies; they also felt so much. And they also found hope beneath the surface.

They trusted; they trusted and you delivered. You came to us in a body.

God, give us words to speak our distress. As we trust you, come to us in a body, in our bodies, once again. Amen.

Dr. Gena Minnix
Director, Loise Henderson Wessendorff Center for Christian Ministry and Vocation
Associate Professor of Counselor Education
Seminary of the Southwest

Listen to Gena read her meditation and prayer:

Dr. Gena Minnix  is the Director of the Loise Henderson Wessendorff Center for Christian Ministry and Vocation, and Associate Professor of Counselor Education. She is a licensed professional counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist trained in systemic therapies, EMDR, trauma and neuroscience, attachment and play therapy, and the Enneagram. In 2013, Gena helped co-found The Human Empathy Project, a nonprofit in Austin that exists to foster empathic connection with members of faith and LGBTQ communities. She is the author of several articles and chapters on the intersection of spiritual, religious, and ethical values in counseling, and is currently working on a book that applies neuroscience to Christian theology. Dr. Minnnix and her family attend Vox Veniae church in East Austin.

The Advent Meditations and Prayers are a gift to our seminary community and are made possible through gifts to our Annual Fund. Seminary of the Southwest appreciates the support of its friends, alumni, and the communities around the world that its graduates serve for the glory of God. This support ensures that Southwest, as an institution made of individuals dedicated to service to God and their fellow members of the body of Christ, can continue doing its part to build the body of Christ.


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