« Back to main blog page

Advent Meditation: Thursday, December 12, 2019

By Lauren Kay

Psalm 37:1-42  •  Amos 9:1-10  •  Matthew 23:13-26

How do we hold the tension of Jesus’ scathing comments in today’s Gospel reading with the hopefulness and Holy Waiting of Advent? While we wait, we are invited into a period of self-examination. Who are we that God incarnate is coming? Who are we that God chooses fully to inhabit the human experience?

The Psalmist grounds us, reminds us of who we are in God’s eyes when we do our best to live by God’s commands. It must be God who guides us, not the promises of the world. When we stray from Holy ideals and refuse to acknowledge and correct the harm caused by our involvement in systemic sins, surely we will hear the words of Jesus plainly: “Woe to you, religious leaders, hypocrites! You blind guides! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean.”

Yet even in those words, there is hope. None of us is beyond redemption. God offers a multitude of opportunities for us to repent of our sins and turn toward the way of the righteous – the way of whom is upheld by the LORD. Hope also is there for those of us harmed by the system, for the LORD loves justice and does not forsake the faithful ones. We start by cleaning what is within so that what comes out becomes clean, that we may lead not recklessly from power or hurt, but with steps directed by the LORD.

God, help us clean the insides of our cups and lead as those guided by You and not by the things of this world.

The Rev. Lauren Kay, ’19
St. George’s Episcopal Church
Diocese of Maine

The Rev. Lauren Kay has a passion for living into and sharing the Gospel message of Loving God and Loving Neighbor. With Love guiding the way, Lauren’s ministry is contextual with an emphasis on relationship, formation, and justice. Alongside working with other justice issues, Lauren is a Queer Christian actively involved with bringing LGBTQ+ education and safe spaces to the church, with a commitment to visibility as a form of evangelism. Midwestern raised and Southern settled, Lauren has learned to find home wherever God takes them. Lauren is happy currently to call Southern Maine home, and is the rector of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Sanford. Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

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.


Advent Meditations and Prayers 2014
advent meditations and prayers 2015
Advent Meditations and Prayers 2016
Advent Meditations and Prayers 2017
Advent Meditations and Prayers 2018
Advent Meditations and Prayers 2019
Al Rodriguez
Anthony Baker
Awa Jangha
Christian formation
Claire Colombo
Cynthia Briggs Kittredge
Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski
Dave Scheider
Friday Fun Photo
Gena Minnix
Greg Garrett
Haiti Project
Holy Land
Jane Patterson
John Hines Day
Kathleen Russell
Kellaura Johnson
Micah Jackson
Nathan Jennings
presiding bishop
Scott Bader-Saye
Seminary of the Southwest Dean and President
social justice
Southwest Six
Staying Cool in Austin
Steve Bishop
Steven Bishop
Steven Tomlinson
Tweet of the Day
Twelve Days of Christmas