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Advent Meditations- Tuesday, December 19

By John Lewis

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Psalm 45, 47, 48; Zech. 2:1-13; Matt. 24:32-44; Rev. 3:14-22

Ambivalence. One dictionary defines it as uncertainty or indecisiveness about which course of action to follow. That definition characterizes my present ambivalence as a comfortable, middle-class, Anglo-American Christian. I am living with uncertainty about how to respond faithfully and constructively to the social, economic, and political chaos and division that threaten our social fabric and the peace of the world.

In today’s reading from revelation, the prophet clearly and unequivocally challenges ambivalence. he recognizes that I am neither hot nor cold about how to respond to the issues that plague our society and church. he challenges my ambivalence and paints a bleak picture of the future if I don’t change direction.

What I need, says the prophet, is to repent in three ways: (1) to accept God’s wisdom about how to live in today’s world, a wisdom forged over millennia of chaotic experiences among God’s people; (2) to recommit daily to clothe myself with Christ, who will empower me to live more virtuously as his disciple; and (3) to put on a new pair of glasses, which will help me see the suffering and injustice of the world solely through the eyes of God.

Advent is the season to prepare for Christ’s coming again by turning from ambivalence to action.

Gracious God, when Christ comes again, empower me to open the door and let him lead me from ambivalence to courageous action.

The Rev. John Lewis, D.Phil
Director of Formational Outreach and Lecturer in New Testament and Spirituality
SEMINARY OF THE SOUTHWEST

Listen to the John read his meditation and prayer:


John Lewis oversees many of the seminary’s non-degree programs. His duties include (1) directing the Iona Collaborative, an expanding program for local training and formation of clergy in their diocesan settings; (2) planning, presenting, and assessing continuing education; (3) establishing lay formation materials for use in the wider church; (4) increasing the seminary’s role in providing opportunities for vocational discernment for lay and ordained ministries; (5) teaching New Testament courses for dioceses in the Iona Collaborative; and (6) teaching Spirituality in the Workplace and Theological Reflection in the seminary’s Center curriculum.

John joined the seminary faculty and staff in 2016 after serving as an adjunct instructor since 2003. From 2003-14 he also served as a part-time faculty member in the Department of Religion at Trinity University (San Antonio), where he taught various courses in New Testament.

John is the author of Looking for Life: The Role of ‘Theo-Ethical” Reasoning in Paul’s Religion (Continuum 2005). John’s biblical scholarship and practical ministry emphasize Christian community-building through faithful practices of discipleship, ministry, and community reflection on daily life in light of the Scriptures.

John also serves as Co-Director of St. Benedict’s Workshop, a non-profit ministry for Christian formation he founded in 2001 with St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, San Antonio, where he continues to teach, preach, and worship. John is a contributing member of several seminars on vocation and discernment sponsored by the Collegeville Institute and funded by the Lilly Foundation. He also serves his home Diocese of West Texas as Missioner for Adult Formation and Dean of Examining Chaplains


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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