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Psalm 26, 28; Isaiah 5: 13-17, 24-25; Luke 21: 29-38

I love figs so much that I know the exact location of every fig tree in my neighborhood. I know the signs to look for that tell me when it’s time to harvest. As the weather heats up, under the auspices of walking my dog, I make my rounds to monitor the progress of the trees. I wait expectantly for the day when I might enjoy the sweet burst of flavor each plump fig provides. Their season is short and I don’t want to miss it.

It may seem strange to think of figs at a time of year when it’s sugar plums that are dancing in our heads, but in today’s gospel, Jesus tells those around him that when they see the fig tree put out its leaves, signifying the arrival of summer, they will know the realm of God is near. He is indicating the immediacy of the kingdom and warning them to not be too preoccupied to notice the signs of it unfurling around them. Jesus’ fellow Jews were an oppressed and exploited people, and they were desperately anticipating the coming of God’s reign, hoping for redemption. We can catch a glimpse of this kind of yearning for God in today’s Psalm:

   Hear the voice of my supplication, as I cry to you for
   help.... O save your people, and bless your heritage;
   be their shepherd, and carry them forever.” (Psalm 28)

Can you imagine hungering for the reign of God as the psalmist does? That which we most desperately desire shapes how we see everything around us, and in this season of Advent, we are reminded to be alert to God’s presence amongst us. So pay attention, as determinedly and hungrily as a fig lover watches the fig tree.


Loving God,
Help us in this season of Advent to live so expectantly
that we see signs of you everywhere we look. Amen.


Lucy Strandlund
Master in Spiritual Formation, Class of 2015
Seminary of the Southwest
Diocese of Alabama




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Lucy Strandlund is training to be a spiritual director. Upon graduation in May, she and her husband Daniel (MDiv '15) will return to their home state of Alabama. Besides trying to soak up her last year at Seminary of the Southwest, Lucy enjoys organic gardening and sharing good food with others.