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The Rev. Charlie CookBy Charlie Cook
Tuesday – December 1
Psalms 5,6; Amos 3:1-11; Matthew 21:12-22
Listen to the author read their meditation and prayer:
Amos was known as a prophet with an edge. A sharp edge. He spoke of the consequence of Israel’s unfaithfulness—there will be a price to pay on the Day of Judgment. The Lord had specifically chosen them, and they had forgotten that belonging to the Lord carried responsibility. Following in the footsteps of the Lord meant caring for the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized in the world. Instead, the people soon forgot this responsibility and lived only for themselves; often at the expense of those they were called to serve. Amos was clear—the Lord requires service, not self-service. Justice and righteousness would be revealed in the practice of living for others.
Jesus of Nazareth carried this message to another level: “Just as you did it for the least of these, who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Serving others is serving Christ himself. Ministry is seeking the Divine Mystery in earthly disguise. Therefore, if we want to experience the presence of Christ, we must seek out a friend or stranger in need.
Advent is the season of “what if.” What if today is the last day, chance, or opportunity to respond to the prophetic word of Amos or the call of Jesus? What if today is the only day? Are we ready to respond?
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us. Give us the courage to use that power for righteousness sake. Amen.
The Rev. Charlie Cook, MDiv ‘74
Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Theology
SEMINARY OF THE SOUTHWEST
The Rev. Charlie Cook, MDiv ‘74 is Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Theology at the Seminary of the Southwest. A native Texan and life-long Episcopalian, The Rev. Charles Cook grew up in the Texas Panhandle, an area of cast ranch lands, petroleum production, and a populace known for its commitment to what could be termed an independent spirit and approach to life He holds academic degrees from Drake University and Seminary of the Southwest. After a brief career in business management, he was ordained an Episcopal priest, serving congregations in Texas, North Carolina, and Missouri. He then joined the teaching faculty of Seminary of the Southwest, where he taught for twenty-five years as Joe and Jessie Crump Chair of Cultural Research and Professor of Pastoral Theology. He also developed an intensive program for students in the area of theological field education, and served as consultant to the seminary’s accredited clinical pastoral education program. He retired from the faculty in 2009 and currently teaches in the Iona School for Ministry for bi-vocational priests and deacons, as well as continuing his work with dioceses and parishes in the areas of vision and mission development. His pastoral leadership includes serving as assisting priest at the Church of the Good Shepard, Austin, for the past twenty years.
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