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Advent Meditations: Friday, December 21

By Alicia Gostylo

Psalm 40, 54, 51  •  Isaiah 10:5–19  •  Matthew 11:2–15

Recently, my mother and I went through a dresser that had belonged to my grandmother, who passed away last January. I was honored to receive her old 1957 worship hymnal. The hymnal smells wonderfully sweet and musty, like a combination of coffee, wine, and tears from the many people who have cradled it over the years.

The first hymn found in the Advent section is “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.” In the opening lines, Charles Wesley writes that it is this long-expected Jesus who was “born to set thy people free.” In Matthew 11:2–15, while in prison, John the Baptist sends his followers to ask Jesus whether he is, in fact, the promised Messiah or whether Israel should expect someone else. Jesus tells John’s followers to go back and report to John all that they had heard and seen, including Jesus preaching the good news to the poor as well as multiple healings. In addition, they are to tell John, “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” Jesus means this as encouragement to John as well as to Christians today to continue to believe in Jesus as the Messiah and not to falter or stumble in our faith.

With the Psalmist, we lament that we are poor and needy and beg God for deliverance, crying, “O my God, do not delay” (40:17). Come, Jesus. The world is expecting you.

Lord, we humbly kneel at the manger bed. We come with broken hearts, but you restore us with the joy of your salvation. Amen.

Alicia Zappone Gostylo
MHC, Class of 2020
Seminary of the Southwest

Listen to Alicia read her meditation and prayer:


Alicia Z. Gostylo, a native Austinite, is a middler in the mental health counseling program. She is also part of the Latino/Hispanic counseling concentration (LHCC) program and has had the privilege to travel to Laredo and Mexico this past year to learn more about the Latinx population. A certified yoga instructor, Alicia enjoys teaching a holistic approach to wellness.

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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