Advent Meditation: December 17, 2022

55, 138, 139:1-17(18-23)
Isaiah 10:20-27 Jude 1:17-25 Luke 3:1-9

Of what am I repenting, as I listen to John crying in the wilderness of my middle life?

This holy season–where we are promised to see God if we will please have mercy, just stay awake!–what baptism are we hoping to receive?
I am coming to be baptized for the forgiveness of an impoverished imagination. For the forgiveness of believing the myth of “meritocracy mountains.” For the forgiveness of accepting the distribution of crooked paths.

And I have much to repent for.
Perhaps like me, you once listened to Jesus’ words on the mount and thought yes, Lord, help me, I will present both cheeks to my enemy. When I’m weary I’ll walk another mile. When I’m cursed I will not be angry. And I’ll give, how I’ll give… and perhaps when you practiced this, a deep valley was carved into your flesh.

And perhaps like me, you arrived in the wilderness of your middle life before you dared to whisper, “When Jesus spoke those words, what if they weren’t for me?” What if he was preaching to the mountains in need of laying low? What if he was speaking to those making crooked paths for others?

But that is also me. I am both, the mountain and the valley. I am both, the crooked and the smooth. I am both in need of forgiveness, and one who has repented too much, and often of the wrong things.

Loving God whose kindness leads us to repentance, cry into our wilderness places and give us the grace to respond. Amen.

Listen to Gena read her Advent meditation and prayer:

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