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Advent Meditations: Wednesday, December 19By C. Andrew Doyle
Psalm 119:49–72, 49, 53 • Isaiah 9:8–17 • Mark 1:1–8
In this passage from the Gospel of Mark, John the Baptist offers us an opportunity for change. This is our chance not only to see the world differently but to be different in the world. By words and actions, John makes his way in the wilderness. He prophetically offers a word of transformation and a vision of his ministry with the understanding that now is the time!
John’s unique baptism for repentance is a message of incredible grace. It is one where we understand that the powerful waters of baptism are the grace and freedom that allow us to live in relationship with God. By these waters, we are freed to live no longer for ourselves but for our neighbor and for Christ alone. And in the end, what we discover is that, though we are not worthy to embrace our savior Jesus or to stoop to untie the thong of his sandal, it is this God that calls us friends most of all.
During this time of Advent, we are to make room in our lives for the God who chooses to make us companions. In this passage, it does not say that God makes the paths straight and the valleys low. As followers of Christ, it is we who are to do the work of making room for God in our lives. We are the ones, not unlike the innkeeper, who in Advent remind ourselves to create space at our tables and in our lives for God.
Heavenly Father, during this holy season of Advent, may the light of your presence bring joy to our anxious hearts. Amen.
The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, DD
IX Bishop of Texas
The Episcopal Diocese of Texas
Listen to Diocese of Texas missioner Jason Evans read Bishop Doyle’s meditation:
C. Andrew Doyle, ninth Bishop of Texas, describes his six-word autobiography as: “Met Jesus on pilgrimage, still walking.” Bishop Doyle received his M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary after receiving a fine-arts degree from the University of North Texas. Prior to his election in 2008, Bishop Doyle served for five years as Canon to the Ordinary. He also served churches in Temple and College Station, as well as being elected deputy to several General Conventions. He most recently served on the Structure Committee and is currently president of the Compass Rose Society, a global group of patrons and leaders making a difference in the Anglican Communion.
Bishop Doyle’s focus for ministry is service, evangelism, and reconciliation, planting 15 new churches and more than 50 new “missional communities” in the next five years. An avid reader and fly fisherman, Bishop Doyle has written several books, often mixing references from pop culture’s music and movies with the latest in secular leadership trends in order to reach the broadest spectrum of readers and challenge Episcopalians to move into their communities with the gospel in word and action. His writings include: Unabashedly Episcopalian: The Good News of the Episcopal Church, 2012; Orgullosamente Episcopal, 2015; Church: A Generous Community Amplified for the Future, 2015; A Generous Community: Being Church In A New Missionary Age, 2015; Small Batch: Local, Organic, and Sustainable Church, 2016; The Jesus Heist, 2017.
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