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Arlen FarleyBy Arlen Farley
Tuesday – December 8
Psalms 26, 28; Amos 7:10-17; Matthew 22:34-46
Listen to the author read their meditation and prayer:
Matthew’s gospel has Jesus teaching on the greatest commandment. What a rule for life and what a prayer for this season of Advent, the time of our longing. We are waiting and praying for the life God alone can give.
During this season, especially, we offer whispered prayers:
We want to love you, oh God.
We want to love our neighbor as ourselves.
These are difficult prayers during this time we also call, “the holiday season.” Imagine a time of year that could make a movie like “Home Alone” seem just about perfect, and then realize we made four sequels. What the holidays seem to want is more, and in no particular order. The new religious authorities have dreamed up an exhausting new religion with sentimentality and credit cards.
Matthew’s gospel is not having it. It practices what Wendell Berry called, “the joy of sales resistance.” Hear this, it says:
The Kingdom of Heaven is here. It works according to the loving reign of your Father in Heaven, who sends sunshine and rain without partiality. You can be God’s child if you live like his Son, Jesus. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and your entire mind. And love your neighbor as you love yourself.
If you’re praying for more love, God’s Spirit is already praying Christ in you.
Holy Spirit, enkindle in my tepid soul the fire of your Love so that I may be wholly subject to you. – St. Augustine
Episcopal Church of the Cross, Lake Travis
Master of Arts in Religion, Class of 2016
SEMINARY OF THE SOUTHWEST
Arlen Farley is a second year student in the Master of Arts in Religion program. He and his wife, Andrea, have three children (Caison, Jaren, and Silas) and most recently served as church planters in Northern California.
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