FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5 , 2014

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Psalm 16, 17; Isaiah 3: 8-15; Luke 20: 41-21: 4

Did you ever read Upside-down Town by Frank Andrews? This wonderful children’s book is about a town “where everything is upside down, children work while their elders play, and school is in session only on special days.” My favorite part tells of a boy who goes to a department store to buy a baseball bat. He learns that an elderly man enjoys making bats so much that he gives them to the store to distribute. The store, then, pays customers to take the bats to free up more shelf space. They “sell” everything in the store that way. In this town even the economy is upside down.

Our Advent Gospel text today could come right out of Upsidedown Town. Rather than overtly displaying power, Jesus only hints that he is in charge of this new kingdom. Then he declares that the religious leaders have no legitimate power in His kingdom. He concludes by saying that the poor are the generous givers. How can we prepare ourselves during Advent for an upside-down world like Jesus describes?

Perhaps an Advent practice could include imagining a world where most of the culturally accepted norms are turned topsy-turvy. If Jesus were in charge, what would our personal lives and our society look like? Let your imagination run wild!

Holy Spirit, move over the chaos of our thoughts
and order them into a vision of the world
of Jesus the Christ. Amen.

 

The Rev. David Scheider, DMin, ’05
Director, Loise Henderson Wessendorff Center for
Christian Ministry and Vocation
Seminary of the Southwest

 

 

 

 

 

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2014 Advent Meditations Front Page

As Director of the Center, the Rev. Scheider oversees three of the seminary’s graduate programs that are designed for laity and clergy who have specialized callings to carry on the work of the church in counseling, chaplaincy, and spiritual formation. These programs meet in the evenings and on Saturdays. Before coming to the seminary, Father Scheider served as a U.S. Army chaplain for 25 years. He specialized in family therapy, earning two additional masters degrees in counseling and certification and licensure as a marriage and family therapist and supervisor. Additionally, Dave achieved certification as a Diplomate in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and Diplomate for the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. He is also a graduate of the Seminary of the Southwest’s certificate in spiritual formation program as well as a D.Min graduate from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Dave is an Episcopal priest, canonically resident in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.
 
MDiv, Andrews University
. MMH, Wright State University. FLEC, Kansas State University. 
DMin, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary