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Advent Meditations- Thursday, December 7By Gena Minnix
How does love respond to violence?
In today’s text, Jesus tells a story about a vineyard owner who sends his servants, and then his son, to collect a harvest. The tenants kill everyone the owner sends. And Jesus asks, “What do you think the owner will do to those tenants?”
The listeners respond, “Put those wretches to a miserable death—of course!”
What violence lurks within us? Violent energy needs to go somewhere. So we say things like, “Serves them right! Teach them a lesson! Show them what it feels like!”
Yet, Jesus doesn’t seem to think counter-violence is the answer. “Now…” he says. “Don’t you know the scripture better than that? No, this isn’t going to play out that way. There’s a stone you’ve rejected, see? And it’s become the cornerstone…”
I wonder if that stone could be this: that in Christ, we learn that God can be wounded without wounding back.
And that flips the script.
That means even when we’re violent, God is not.
And it means, God help us, we too can be wounded without wounding back.
And it means we can be saved from the violence lurking within us, righteous as it (always) seems.
It means our salvation has drawn near. Near enough to be wounded. Near enough to lay down his weapon and his shield. Near enough to look us in the face, and tell us a story.
Christ, in your gentle guidance, help us write new endings to stories with violent beginnings. Amen.
Dr. Gena Minnix
Assistant Professor of Counselor Education
SEMINARY OF THE SOUTHWEST
Listen to the Gena read her meditation and prayer:
As a Licensed Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist, Gena has trained in systemic therapies, EMDR, play therapy, Relational Cultural Theory, the Enneagram, and spirituality. After interning at the VA, Gena completed her licenses and then served as clinical director for community mental health agencies before receiving her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision. Gena has published and presented at national and international conferences on topics such as the reconciliation of LGBT affirmation with Christian beliefs, family therapy, attachment and trauma. In 2013, Gena helped co-found The Human Empathy Project, a nonprofit in Austin that exists to foster empathic connection with members of faith and LGBT communities.
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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