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Advent Meditations- Wednesday, December 13

By Anthony Baker

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Psalm 38; 119:25-48; Amos 8:1-14; Matt. 23:1-12; Rev. 1:17-2:7

“He said, ‘Amos, what do you see?’ And I said ‘A basket of summer fruit.’” Alongside the Adventide expectation of grace and favor, there comes also the promise of God’s judgment on injustice. Do we notice, as the prophets and psalmists are always noticing, that God seems to allow sin and betrayal to have their way in the world? Do those practices of deceit upset the order of God’s good creation, the tampering with scales, the extortion that allows a person with means to purchase a person in want?

God tells Amos here that these practices will come to an end. Even while they continue to glimmer and shine like ripe fruit, their decay has already begun. How long does that basket have to sit there in the sun before it will begin to heat up past the point of freshness?

I love the non-interventionist image of God that Amos’s vision suggests. It’s not that God will surprise us one day by showing up and spoiling the fruits of injustice. Sin is its own enemy, and will be its own undoing. The piled up fruits of injustice will rot, because that’s how God made the world. Do you see hatred and betrayal winning out? Look closer at the fruit. Take a while. Perhaps the rotting has already begun.

God of the prophets, help us hear the voice of a creation that longs for your righteousness. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Dr. Anthony D. Baker
Clinton S. Quin Professor of Systematic Theology

Listen to the Tony read his meditation and prayer:

Professor Baker joined the seminary faculty in 2004. He teaches classes in both historical theology (focusing on a figure, an era, or a school of thought) and constructive theology (the building of persuasive arguments about God and creation).  He is the author of Diagonal Advance: Perfection in Christian Theology, as well as various articles in Modern TheologyPolitical TheologyThe Journal of Anglican StudiesAnglican Theological Review, Heythrop Journal and other journals and collections. He is currently working on a book that explores theological themes in the works of Shakespeare.  Professor Baker is Editor in Chief of the Anglican Theological Review, and he is the theologian-in-residence at Saint Julian’s Episcopal Church in north Austin, where he and his three children attend.


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