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Advent Meditation: Saturday, December 14, 2019

By Anthony Baker


Psalm 30, 32, 42, 43  •  Haggai 2:1-19  •  Matthew 24:1-14

Catholicity: the word comes from the Greek for “universal,” or “according to the whole.” The ancient idea that the church of Jesus Christ is catholic is the insistence that the healing, or salvation, that Jesus offers is entirely unboundaried. In the gospel today, when Jesus foresees the destruction of the Temple, the disciples assume he is talking about the end of the world. But he tells them that the hardships, the destruction, the hatred, and the betrayals are not the end. The invitation of Jesus to find our life and happiness in him is one that obstinately persists through all this tearing down and falling apart. The good news will be proclaimed: through times of war and hate, the destruction of homes and the building of anti-catholic walls. And when all have heard his invitation, despite the energies of creation that amass against this good news, then Father and Son and Spirit will echo the words that Christ says from the cross, alongside the words that the entire Godhead said together that first week of creation: it is finished. And it is very good.

Father of all, send your Spirit to keep us within the good news of your Son’s salvation, even as we are tempted by hatred.

Dr. Anthony Baker
Clinton S. Quin Professor of Systematic Theology
Seminary of the Southwest

Listen to Anthony read his meditation and prayer:


Dr. Anthony Baker joined the seminary faculty in 2004. He teaches classes in both historical theology (focusing on a figure, an era, or a school of thought) and constructive theology (the building of persuasive arguments about God and creation). He is the author of Diagonal Advance: Perfection in Christian Theology as well as various articles in Modern TheologyPolitical TheologyThe Journal of Anglican StudiesAnglican Theological Review, Heythrop Journal and other journals and collections. He is currently working on a book that explores theological themes in the works of Shakespeare. Professor Baker is the theologian-in-residence at Saint Julian’s Episcopal Church in north Austin, where he and his three children attend.


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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