« Back to main blog page

Advent Meditations: Thursday, December 20

By Katherine Bailey Brown

Psalm 50, 59, 60  •  Isaiah 9:18–10:4  •  Matthew 3:1–12

Handel’s “Messiah” may be my favorite piece of Christmas music, and it’s often played in my house this time of year. I have many fond memories of singing the Baroque oratorio with a large church choir when I was a child, and I now try to attend a performance every December. The first words of the entire piece are taken from the Book of Isaiah and prophesy the mission of John the Baptist: “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord.”

In today’s gospel reading, John fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy and begins to prepare the people of Jerusalem and Judea for the arrival of Christ. He tells the people that “one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals.” John’s emphasis on the primacy of Jesus is powerful. It reminds us that we repent and prepare for the birth of Christ not for our own sakes, but for the glory of God.

O Lord, who sent your prophet John to prepare the way, help us ready our hearts for the coming of Christ.

Katherine Bailey Brown
Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations
Seminary of the Southwest


Katherine Bailey Brown  joined the Institutional Advancement team in January 2018. With over five years of nonprofit com­munication and fundraising experience, Katherine brings important experience and perspective to her role of director of annual giving and alumni relations. Previously, she had been working with the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust, leading their development efforts. Brown is a graduate of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, Austin, and holds a degree in religious studies from the University of Texas at Austin, with extensive coursework completed at St. Mary’s College of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. The granddaughter of the Rt. Rev. Scott Field Bailey, she brings with her a deep knowledge and appreciation of The Episcopal Church and the Seminary of the Southwest.

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.


Advent Meditations and Prayers 2014
advent meditations and prayers 2015
Advent Meditations and Prayers 2016
Advent Meditations and Prayers 2017
Advent Meditations and Prayers 2018
Advent Meditations and Prayers 2019
Al Rodriguez
Anthony Baker
Awa Jangha
Christian formation
Claire Colombo
Cynthia Briggs Kittredge
Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski
Dave Scheider
Friday Fun Photo
Gena Minnix
Greg Garrett
Haiti Project
Holy Land
Jane Patterson
John Hines Day
Kathleen Russell
Kellaura Johnson
Micah Jackson
Nathan Jennings
presiding bishop
Scott Bader-Saye
Seminary of the Southwest Dean and President
social justice
Southwest Six
Staying Cool in Austin
Steve Bishop
Steven Bishop
Steven Tomlinson
Tweet of the Day
Twelve Days of Christmas