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Advent Meditations- Saturday, December 23

By Jay Alanis

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Psalm 55; Isaiah 10:20-27; Luke 3:1-9

The season of Advent has been a time of reflection in preparation for the arrival of the Christ child. As we prepare for this birth day of the holy One, we are invited to ponder what his appearance will mean for us at his second advent. In the parable of the judgement of the nations the triumphant Christ of Glory rewards the righteous and punishes those who failed to minister to the hungry, thirsty, sick, naked and imprisoned. For in serving them, we serve the Lord. This is the call of every disciple.

Martin Luther quipped that “the gospel is meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” The parable invites us to reflect seriously on our call to minister to the needs of the powerless. Those who minister to the “little ones” will inherit eternal life. This is a comforting promise. But the inverse is also true. Those who fail to care for them will reap the consequences of their disregard.

As disciples we are a mixed bag, a mixture of faithfulness and faithlessness. There is a bit of saint and sinner in all of us. The parable serves as a mirror that invites us to examine our priorities in light of the values of the reign of God. In serving the least we sow the seeds of righteous living.

Prepare us, O God, to meet you in the hungry, thirsty, sick, naked and imprisoned who are the beloved of your kin-dom. Amen.

Rev. Javier (Jay) Alanis, PhD, JD
Executive Director/Associate Professor of Theology, LSPS Adjunct Faculty—Senior Instructor
SEMINARY OF THE SOUTHWEST

Listen to the Jay read his meditation and prayer:


Professor Alanis was appointed Interim Executive Director of 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 roundtable. 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.

 


Advent Meditations is a gift to our seminary community and 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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