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Friday, December 5, 2014By Dave Scheider
Psalm 16, 17; Isaiah 3: 8-15; Luke 20: 41-21: 4
Did you ever read Upside-down Town by Frank Andrews? This wonderful children’s book is about a town “where everything is upside down, children work while their elders play, and school is in session only on special days.” My favorite part tells of a boy who goes to a department store to buy a baseball bat. He learns that an elderly man enjoys making bats so much that he gives them to the store to distribute. The store, then, pays customers to take the bats to free up more shelf space. They “sell” everything in the store that way. In this town even the economy is upside down.
Our Advent Gospel text today could come right out of Upside-down Town. Rather than overtly displaying power, Jesus only hints that he is in charge of this new kingdom. Then he declares that the religious leaders have no legitimate power in His kingdom. He concludes by saying that the poor are the generous givers. How can we prepare ourselves during Advent for an upside-down world like Jesus describes?
Perhaps an Advent practice could include imagining a world where most of the culturally accepted norms are turned topsy-turvy. If Jesus were in charge, what would our personal lives and our society look like? Let your imagination run wild!
Holy Spirit, move over the chaos of our thoughts
and order them into a vision of the world
of Jesus the Christ. Amen.
Dave Scheider is the Director of the Loise Henderson Wessendorf Center for Christian Ministry and Vocation at Seminary of the Southwest. Prior to joining the faculty of Seminary of the Southwest, Dave served as an Army Chaplain for 25 years.
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