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Advent Meditation: Sunday, December 15, 2019By 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
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