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Advent Meditation: Monday, December 16, 2019By Dr. Maria Spellings
Psalm 41, 44, 52 • Zechariah 1:7-17 • Matthew 24:15-31
My favorite memories are connected to the winter season. With the first cold snap, I get excited about baking my favorite goodies, building a good fire, and hosting holiday parties. My chest fills with excitement and anticipation for the magic and mystery of the season.
The joy of the season is often harshly juxtaposed within the sacred walls of my counseling office. As the holidays approach, clients often recount memories that are filled with loneliness, pain, fear, and anger: the death of a loved one, the grief of childhood abuse, the ache of disconnection from family members. Together, we hold the painful memories with compassion, teaching both of us about the power of our ritual of connection, the weekly anticipation of healing, and the mystery of God at work.
In today’s reading, the Psalmists recount both their despair and grief and their steadfast hope in God’s redemption and rescue. The verses from Zechariah tell of the compassion and comfort of God. The ritual of advent opens us up to our future hope and at the same time ushers us into the present moment where both joy and grief exist. In opening space for our pain and loss to coexist at this time of celebration, God greets us with the mystery of solace and magic of comfort.
God, draw us into the healing work you are doing now, both in our lives and in the world. Amen.
Dr. Maria Spellings
Assistant Professor of Counselor Education
Seminary of the Southwest
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