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Advent Meditation: Thursday, December 19, 2019

By Javier Alanis


Psalm 50, [59,60] *or* 33 •  Zechariah 4:1-14  •  Matthew 25:1-13

We have all been to a wedding.  We have seen the bridegroom waiting for the bride to arrive.  The bridesmaids are the attendants who walk in first as if to announce that the bride is about to appear. In the Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids Jesus uses a familiar wedding custom as a metaphor for readiness in a time of waiting.  In this season of Advent, we prepare not only for the arrival of the Christ child in a manger.  We are invited to recall that the child of the Christmas story will one day arrive as the adult bridegroom who will appear as the judge of the righteous and the unrighteous.  The parable invites us to be ready for his second advent.
The wise bridesmaids took flasks of oil with them.  The foolish did not.  When the bridegroom arrives the foolish are without oil and unable to receive him.  Because they are not ready the door of the banquet is closed behind them.

In the parable Jesus is instructing his followers to be ready at all times for his appearance. Our readiness depends on how we keep our lamps burning at all times. We do this by keeping our faith active in love and service of others. Our lives burn brightly as lamp lights in the world.  You may have heard the song, “This little light of mine, let it shine, let it shine.”  The wise let it shine every day!

Make us wise, Lord, to prepare for your advent through daily prayer, worship, sacraments, bible study, and faithful service.

The Rev. Javier ‘Jay’ Alanís, PhD, JD
Executive Director/Associate Professor of Theology
Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest
Adjunct Faculty-Senior Instructor
Seminary of the Southwest

Listen to Javier read his meditation and prayer:


The Rev. Javier ‘Jay’ Alanís was appointed interim executive director of the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest (LSPS) in July 2009. Prior to that, he had been associate professor of theology, culture and mission, as well as associate academic dean. His academic interests include liberation theology and ethics from the underside of history; missiology in a multicultural context; and peace and justice concerns as they relate to the role of the church in society, and in particular along the U.S.-Mexican border. He has a particular interest in Hispanic/Latino theology and ethics and the contribution that U.S. liberation theologians bring to the theological round table. He also brings with him training in spiritual direction and formation as a discipline and model for the spiritual life and the vocational discernment process. After graduation from LSPS in 1992, he served as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in San Antonio for four years. During that time he chaired the Southwestern Texas Synod’s Multicultural Committee and Anti-Racism Team. He has written numerous articles on the image of God from a Hispanic/Latino perspective and is currently working on a borderlands hermeneutics as a lens for understanding and interpreting the ethical response to migration.


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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