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Advent Meditations: Friday, December 7

By Rich Nelson

Psalm 16, 17, 22  •  Isaiah 3:8–15  •  Luke 20:41–21:4

Jesus said: “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” (Luke 20:46–47)

King of Kings and Son of Sons
Speaking words of welcome and warning
Challenging our sense of abundance, entitlement
And any claim of ownership or possession of you

Where would you have us stand, us with the long robes
And gold-laced vestments, pointing towards your birth
Among the mud and manure that I worked so hard
To scrape off my Sunday shoes

Invite me down from these self-made thrones
Which took years to carve, from the wood of your cross
Bring us back to the beginning, prepare in me
The Way of the Lord

Place me in the bread line, among the lost
The lonely, those starving for the meal
Found within your manger, take from me all I have
Save for two coins, that I may bow, offer them to you

And be free

Generous God, take from me every false gift, that my empty hands may be ready to receive your Son, Jesus, the Christ. Amen.

The Rev. Rich Nelson, ’04
Pastor for Intentional Faith Development
Salem Lutheran Church, Brenham, Texas

Listen to Rich read his meditation and prayer:


The Rev. Rich Nelson is a priest, writer, spiritual director, and contemplative. He has served both Episcopal and Lutheran congregations and schools, founded a rural ecumenical nonprofit outreach ministry, and is deeply interested in non-traditional ways of creating and fostering communities of faith. He is the creator and guide of the online Following the Way faith formation program, which helps people center their lives around the Shema/Great Commandment. You can find Rich’s resources and contact him at and

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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