Advent Meditation: Sunday, November 29, 2020

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19  •  Isaiah 64:1-9  •  1 Corinthians 1:3-9 •  Mark 13:24-37

In our passage from Mark’s gospel today, Jesus delivers a bracing wake up call to his followers. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. The sun will darken. The stars will fall. There will be suffering. Heaven and earth will pass away. Welcome to Advent.

We begin the new church year not looking back to the child arriving in the stable but looking forward to the Son of God returning on the clouds. And this second advent is both urgent and uncertain. No one knows when it will happen, but Jesus’ message is clear – be attentive, be ready, keep awake.

To be awake is to be aware, to have open eyes and receptive hearts. To be awake is to see clearly what has, until now, been hidden in the shadows. It is no wonder that movements for social, spiritual, and political change are often referred to as “awakenings.”

We are in the midst of such an awakening now. Eyes are opening to what many have seen and lived for a long time – racial injustice, economic disparity, health care inequities, climate disruptions. Stay awake to these realities, Jesus says. Don’t go back to sleep. Don’t stop working just because
the householder isn’t looking. Don’t stop working because the news cycle has moved on.

God has come. God is coming. God is here waking us up.

Awaken us, God, to what is real and true and troubling about the world around us. May we stay awake and do your work. Amen.

Dr. Scott Bader-Saye
Academic Dean and Helen and Everett H. Jones Professor of Christian Ethics and Moral Theology
Seminary of the Southwest

Listen to Scott read his meditation and prayer:

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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