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Advent Meditation: Sunday, December 15, 2019

By David Reed


Psalm 63:1-8(9-11), 98, 103  •  Amos 9:11-15  •  John 5:30-47

When our children were young, and we were living in deep South Texas, we would bundle them up in early December (in t-shirts and shorts) and go see the mall Santa. As a Dad, it was great fun. As a priest, I felt a little guilty–selling out Advent for premature jolliness, betraying the liturgical cause for a few minutes with the Claus.

For all of us who are the Church, when to hold the line on practices we love and find life-giving, and when to hold them loosely or let them go, are abiding questions. What I sometimes think is the Spirit’s work of sanctification may be simply my self-righteousness in disguise. Children can certainly interrupt our slide into spiritual pomposity and self-satisfaction, and they can intrude into our plans and force us to face our limitations. They also have an amazing ability to draw out from us love we did not know we had within us.

And no child does this so well as the Child we await during Advent, who, Amos-like, confronts us with our willfulness, and childlike, calls out of us a love so lovely and kind.

I’m not sure I’ll ever “do Advent” just right. But my off-balanced ways of awaiting the Child are no match for the love of God revealed in the Child who is awaiting you and me.

O God, Open our eyes and our hearts to seek Jesus today, whether we’re on a religious pilgrimage or a trip to the mall. Amen.

The Rt. Rev. David Reed, ’83, ’08
Bishop, Diocese of West Texas
Diocese of West Texas


The Rt. Rev. David Reed was born in Brownsville, Texas, on March 9, 1957, to William Wesley Reed, Jr. and the late Olive Helen Polley Reed. The third of six children, he was baptized and confirmed at Church of the Advent, Brownsville. He attended elementary school at the Episcopal Day School and graduated from Homer Hanna High School in 1975.

He earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1978 and taught school for two years before going to seminary.

He graduated from Seminary of the Southwest in Austin in 1983 with a Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Stanley Hauser in Church of the Advent, Brownsville, on June 12, 1983. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Scott Field Bailey in St. Alban’s Church, Harlingen, on January 13, 1984.

David married Patricia Ann “Patti” (Kopec) on June 18, 1988, and they have two children.

David served as assistant rector at St. Alban’s Church, Harlingen, from 1983 to 1987. He was called to be rector of St. Francis Church, Victoria, in 1987, serving there through 1994. He returned to St. Alban’s near the end of 1994, serving as rector until his election as Bishop Suffragan.

He was elected Bishop Suffragan for the Diocese of West Texas in a special council at TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas in San Antonio, on March 25, 2006, and was consecrated in St. Luke’s Church, San Antonio, on August 26, 2006. He is the 14th bishop to serve in West Texas (the fifth suffragan) and 1,005 in the American Succession.

Reed was elected Bishop Coadjutor for the Diocese of West Texas in a special council at TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas in San Antonio, on October 25, 2014. He was officially invested as the tenth Bishop of the Diocese of West Texas on June 3, 2017, during a service held at TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas.


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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