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Advent Meditations: Sunday, December 16By Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski
Psalm 63:1–8, 98, 103 • Isaiah 13:6–13 • John 3:22–30
For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. (John 3:29)
This passage from the Gospel of John, concerning a conflict between the followers of Jesus and John the Baptist, captures the spirit of Advent as a season of preparation. Preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ, the bridegroom, involves discerning who we are in relationship to the one who is coming. John the Baptist models this for his disciples. While he is a prophet sent to call Israel to repentance, he recognizes that one greater than him has come. In the face of this, John places himself in relationship to Jesus: he rejoices at one greater than him arriving.
Like those preparing for a wedding, John the Baptist shows us how to prepare for the coming of Jesus. We know that one greater than us is on the verge of arriving. When we catch a glimpse of his arrival, we rejoice and are glad, for we know that God’s great purposes for us and for humanity are being fulfilled.
Jesus is both already among us and always arriving anew to us. We can daily welcome him, but with prayers and meditations that reflect on the joy we feel when we know he is close. This surely is an Advent discipline that we can take with us throughout the year.
Almighty God, we thank you for the gift of the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ. May we always rejoice to welcome him. Amen.
The Rev. Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, PhD
Duncalf-Villavaso Professor of Church History
Seminary of the Southwest
Listen to Dan read his meditation and prayer:
The Rev. Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski joined the faculty as the Duncalf-Villavoso Professor of Church History in 2014, having taught for a decade at other Episcopal seminaries. His teaching focuses on integrating Anglican and Episcopal identity with the broader sweep of Christian history and Jewish-Christian relations. His research interests include Anglican and Episcopal history, Jewish-Christian relations ancient and modern, the development of Anglican ecclesiology, and comparative theology. He is the author of The More Torah, The More Light: A Christian Commentary on Mishnah Avot and Christian Memories of the Maccabean Martyrs and has authored chapters in various edited volumes and articles in Anglican Theological Review and Anglican and Episcopal History. Prof. Joslyn-Siemiatkoski is a representative for The Episcopal Church in the Anglican-Roman Catholic USA dialogue group and a member of the board of trustees for the Episcopal Evangelism Society and the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church. He serves as an assisting priest at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin.
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