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Psalm 66, 67; Isaiah 11: 10-16; Luke 1: 5-25

I grew up on the Ohio prairie, where seasonal change is a concrete and tangible experience. Many childhood years of moving from season to season formed me and imbedded expectations for the changing seasons on the calendar.

When autumn begins, I expect to need a sweater in the mornings and to see color in the leaves of trees. As winter approaches, I ready to wear my coat outside, to scrape frost from the car windshield, and, in moments of particularly splendid delusion, to catch a glimpse of snow.

In the parts of Texas where I have lived, the residual anticipation of seasonal patterns, formed in me so long ago, seems unfounded and out of place. But my body tells me that times are changing, that earth is moving, and that what has been is passing into what will soon be.

The seasons of the liturgical year shape our souls. Something is becoming deeply imbedded into who we are and the rhythm of our movement through time. The days turn again, and a deep longing settles into our bones: Advent carries us forward into promise.

So we wait. The world dims in vesper light and promises us that dawn will break through again. A stubborn chill drives us together into a close huddle of hope for the warmth of God’s love.

We continue looking for that day.

Loving God, you help us to hope for what can be; form
our lives to prepare us for receiving your gift, Jesus. Amen


R. Scott Painter
Master of Divinity, Class of 2016
Seminary of the Southwest
Diocese of Texas





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Scott Painter is a Postulant in the Diocese of Texas and an M.Div. student in the class of 2016.  He enjoys traveling with his family, watching satirical television sitcoms, reading postmodern fiction, and listening to jazz and improvisational music of all kinds.