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Advent Meditation: Thursday, December 12, 2019By 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
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