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Thomas TemperliBy Thom Temperli
Saturday, December 19
Psalm 55; Zechariah 8:9-17; Matthew 25:31-46
Listen to the author read their meditation and prayer:
Any sane person would be wise to avoid falling over the cliffs of anguish, the terrors of death, horror and trembling. On the road of life, starvation, estrangement, nakedness and imprisonment blink like warning signs: Divert Now!
Concerning those who lie mangled and desperate at the bottom of the cliff, Matthew’s lesson for us is clear: we cannot love God unless we take action to meet the needs of the destitute, desperate and powerless as though we expected to meet Christ in them. Yet, what if we find ourselves in the position of desperation, horror and helplessness? I would rather be charged with seeking Christ in others than to be left with no other option than to have my needs met by a stranger. Oh to sprout wings like a dove and escape to the refuge of wilderness as the psalmist longs!
When, in our helplessness, we have finally run out options for filling the inner void with every variety of noble and acceptable thing and activity–we face the terror of our inner vacuousness. Yet to our surprise, and contrary to all common advice, we find the fullness of Christ in the gift of the stranger which only desperation finally allows us to receive.
God, grant us the courage to steer into the emptiness we so sanely fear, to find the Ultimate Abundance we so crave. Amen.
Diocese of Texas
Master of Divinity, Class of 2016
SEMINARY OF THE SOUTHWEST
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