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Advent Meditations: Thursday, December 6

By Alison Poage

Psalm 18:1–50  •  Isaiah 2:12–22  •  Luke 20:27–40

I’ve worried about the death of my loved ones since I was very young. In an early memory, I’m running my fingers along my father’s wooden rosary beads and wondering what would happen to me if he died. I’m not much taller in this memory than my younger son is today.

I’ve worried about posting on social media since the internet was young, too, but when my cat died in 2015, I exchanged my fear for the comfort of comments. I posted photos from Elfie’s life, including one taken near the end, when she’d already lost the folds of fat that marked her as a happy cat. The condolences rolled in, which was exactly what I’d wanted.

But one friend didn’t mention the words “loss” or “sadness” or anything else I’d expected. “Now,” this friend wrote, “she is everywhere.”

This will be my seventh Christmas without my father, who never met my stepson or my son. But if Dad’s everywhere, maybe he knows Ian has finally moved beyond sarcasm and is actually quite funny now. Maybe he was there this morning when James, who is experimenting with absurdity, announced, “Lunchtime!” when he knew very well it was time for breakfast. I reflect on this with hope as I read in Luke, “Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive” (20:38).

Dear Lord, we are missing our loved ones, and it hurts. Help us feel their presence with us this Advent and always. Amen.

Alison Poage
Booher Library Director
Seminary of the Southwest

 Listen to Alison read her meditation and prayer:


Alison Poage, as the library’s administrator, is responsible for long-range planning, budgeting, and collection development. She also participates in the frontline work of assisting students and faculty with their research and enjoys working closely with the librarians and student workers. Alison began her career in libraries as a high-school student working in her local public library. She received the B.E.S.T. award (Bringing Excellence in Service by Teens) from the Suffolk County Library Association, an experience that encouraged her to pursue library science as a career. She received her MLS from the City University of New York at Queens College and has worked as a youth services librarian, consultant, and library administrator. Alison is proud to have served on the committee that administered the 2010 Newbery Medal, an award given to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. A native New Yorker and avid Mets fan, she now lives in East Austin with her family and is a member at St. George’s Episcopal Church.

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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