Advent Meditation: Sunday, December 6, 2020

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13  •  Isaiah 40:1-11  •  2 Peter 3:8-15a • Mark 1:1-8 

“Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Ps 85:10

A joke that moved across platforms this fall portrayed an angel reporting back to God. God’s response captures the whole scenario: “You put a decade’s worth of history in one year?” Traumatic events and isolation have combined in 2020 to leave many feeling that the human family has borne more pain than even a decade needs.

It’s a time in which the cry of the psalmist resonates: “Will you prolong your anger from age to age? Will you not let us live again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (85:5b-6) Attributing 2020 to God’s anger lets human agency off the hook too much. The events draw attention to human sin and all that opposes God’s purposes. Though we feel stuck in this mire, the scriptures assure us that God redeems and brings healing to the traumatized. The world transforms at the advent of God’s salvation. The signs revealing God’s coming contrast with the normative human experience. The joining of mercy with truth and righteousness and peace emerges out of God’s response to the brokenness by which our lives are afflicted. Despite all that discourages, God “speaks peace to his faithful people,” and God’s “salvation is very near.” Christ’s advent restores God’s good creation.

Restorer, hear us: let weary souls, bodies, and communities be filled with hope and overflow with your peace. Amen.

The Rt. Rev. Kathryn RyanMDiv Class of 1992, DD Class of 2020
Bishop Suffragan
The Episcopal Diocese of Texas

The Advent Meditations and Prayers are a gift to our seminary community and are made possible through gifts to our Annual Fund. Seminary of the Southwest appreciates the support of its friends, alumni, and the communities around the world that its graduates serve for the glory of God. This support ensures that Southwest, as an institution made of individuals dedicated to service to God and their fellow members of the body of Christ, can continue doing its part to build the body of Christ.

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