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Advent Meditation: Saturday, December 7, 2019

By Steven Bishop


Psalm 20, 21:1-7(8-14), 110:1-5(6-7), 116, 117  •  Amos 5:18-27  •  Matthew 22:15-22

My Old Testament mentor and friend, Bernhard W. Anderson, had Psalm 116:12-14 written in Hebrew and framed on his office wall.  It was a reminder that God’s gifts were innumerable and gratitude was the proper response.  During Advent we celebrate God’s greatest gift to the world and yet we are reminded in today’s reading that we are surrounded by gifts.
In this passage the psalmist asks ‘how’ they can give back to the LORD in light of God’s amazing blessings to the psalmist.  The poet latches upon the idea that a proper expression of gratitude can be given in the liturgical moment that the cup of rescue is poured out as a libation to God.  This expression of thankfulness, so movingly imagined in the poet’s metaphor of the ‘cup of salvation’, includes the physical act of lifting a cup in a liturgical setting.

Though this is not the same cup we lift up in our liturgy, it certainly has a profound resonance.  When we involve our bodies in the motions of worship we have the opportunity to experience, at a somatic level, gratitude.

Let us today find a way to involve our bodies in our own expression of gratitude and lift up our own metaphorical cup to the LORD.

God, I lift my cup to you today in gratitude for all you have given to me. Amen.

Dr. Steven Bishop
Associate Professor of Old Testament
Seminary of the Southwest


Dr. Steven Bishop is Associate Professor of Old Testament and a parishioner at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church.


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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