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Advent Meditation: Thursday, December 5, 2019

By Eric Scott

Psalm 18:1-50  •  Amos 4:6-13  •  Matthew 21:33-46

When I told our dean and president I was writing on the Parable of the Tenants in Matthew, she simply said, “Oh. That’s a hard one.” As I read the text and pondered its context, I understood why.

This mic drop of a parable pulls no punches. Jesus has arrived in Jerusalem. He has thrown over some tables, performed a few miracles, and is about to model behavior that changes the course of history: telling truth to power.

And while the standard interpretation of this parable is that God is the landowner, the Pharisees are the tenants, and Jesus is the son, I wonder: what about the grapes- are they not at the root of this?

We should consider the ‘currency’ at the heart of the story. With 3 weeks until Christmas, I have several projects to finish before my time away from work. I have a list of people for whom I need to buy presents. I am tangibly caught at the heart of capitalism: harvesting and selling my grapes, and then going – perhaps to the temple – to spend that money. Just like the tenants, I have lost sight of the fact that these grapes do not belong to me, nor do the presents I buy for my family belong to them.

All of this belongs to God. And from that, so much of the teachings of Jesus flow. As we participate in our annual ritual of wringing and gnashing about the commercialization of Christmas, let us remember that long before our modern economies, there was Jesus disrupting an unjust system and pointing out how greed leads us astray.

Eric Scott
Director of Marketing and Communications
Seminary of the Southwest

Listen to Eric read his meditation and prayer:

Eric Scott  is responsible for coordinating both internal and external communications, brand development, press relations and the development and implementation of the seminary’s strategic marketing plan. Eric has more than 20 years experience in the non-profit sector, holding roles in communications and development for iconic cultural institutions and social service providers in both Austin and New York City. He has served in critical roles at Roundabout Theatre, the Irish Repertory Theatre, PeopleFund, ZACH Theatre, and previous to the seminary he was Chief Development Officer at Any Baby Can, an Austin, TX based agency serving children with special healthcare needs. As a former director at the seminary and cradle Episcopalian, Eric brings to this position a level of resourcefulness and familiarity with our students, alumni/ae and other key constituents that are critical in communicating the story and message of the seminary. A native Austinite and proud alumnus of the University of Texas, Eric lives in Southwest Austin with his wife, Laura, and their two daughters.

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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