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The Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, ThDBy Cynthia Briggs Kittredge
Friday, December 25
Psalms 2, 85; Micah 4:1-5; 5:2-4; John 3:31-36
Listen to the author read their meditation and prayer:
“The Word became flesh and lived among us.” John 1:14
Surely even twenty eight days of waiting cannot fully prepare us for the wonder that is the birth of Jesus. Luke’s story of the baby, delivered away from home, “wrapped in swaddling clothes” is told with more distance and dignity in the prologue of the Fourth Gospel. The divine presence, splendid and glorious, comes to live (New Revised Standard Version), dwell (King James Version), make a home with “us.” As the presence of God became local in the tabernacle, so God makes a home and moves in among God’s own people. Jesus is the home, the dwelling, the sanctuary right in our neighborhood.
Filled with wonder on this Christmas day, let us welcome Jesus, splendid guest. Let us be those who “receive him” and “believe in his name” (John 1:12). Rejoice that the word and wisdom of God comes in human flesh like ours. Give thanks that our fragile lives are holy and shine with the radiance of God’s glory. In communion with saints and in company of friends, celebrate the feast.
God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: let us welcome him. Amen.
The Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, ThD
Dean and President
Professor of New Testament
SEMINARY OF THE SOUTHWEST
The focus of Dean Kittredge’s leadership is the formation of Christian leaders in community for the vitality of the church and to advance God’s mission of reconciliation. She believes that critical engagement with scripture, tradition, and context, energized by imagination, and grounded in prayer is the center of formation for mission. In the wider church, Dean Kittredge is a respected scholar and preacher who teaches and leads retreats on the vital intersection of scripture, spirituality, and preaching for Christian leaders. In her role as dean and president, she continues to form students at Southwest in creative and faithful approaches to biblical studies, early Christian history, Greek reading, and the embodied practice of liturgical leadership. Dean Kittredge is the eighth dean and president of Seminary of the Southwest. She was appointed in 2013 after serving on the faculty as the Ernest J. Villavaso, Jr. Professor of New Testament and as academic dean. Committed to theological education for the church, Dean Kittredge has served as a member of the Steering Committee for Theological Education in the Anglican Communion, as Chair of the Board of the Episcopal Evangelism Society, and President of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars. A biblical scholar valued by her colleagues for her insight and generous collegiality, Dean Kittredge is a contributor to The New Oxford Annotated Bible and the Women’s Bible Commentary, and the author of Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of John and Community and Authority: The Rhetoric of Obedience in the Pauline Tradition. She co-edited The Bible in the Public Square: Reading the Signs of the Times and Walk in the Ways of Wisdom: Essays in Honor of Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza. She is the co-editor of the Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The New Testament (2014). Fascinated by the interplay of intellect and imagination in the interpretation of scripture, she wrote A Lot of the Way Trees Were Walking: Poems from the Gospel of Mark (Wipf & Stock, 2015). Prior to joining the seminary faculty in 1999, Dean Kittredge taught at Harvard University and the College of the Holy Cross. She serves as assisting priest at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Austin. She is married to Frank D. Kittredge, Jr. and they have three grown children.
BA, Williams College. MDiv, ThM, ThD, Harvard Divinity School.
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