Daniel P. Strandlund Meditation
Psalm: 41,52; Zechariah 1:7-17; Matthew 24:15-31
|MONDAY, DECEMBER 16 , 2013|
One of the many gifts the New Testament gives us is that in its authors and characters we see people of deep and abiding faith remembering and re-imagining their biblical canon: the Hebrew scriptures. With terrifying urgency, the Jesus of Matthew’s Gospel situates his teaching about the end times in continuity with the book of Daniel (v. 15, 30) and the prophet Isaiah (v. 29). As we read, Jesus’ words shudder our foundations and rattle our windowpanes. Stars fall. Lightning rends the sky. The heavens darken—there is no second-guessing the claim which the Son of Man exerts on those who await him. Today, the Gospel of Jesus Christ brims with shadows. It spills darkness and discomfort into our very laps, and as readers we find ourselves with Christ in Gethsemane: “Let this cup pass from me...”
As you continue through our Advent scriptures, read slowly. Read more than prescribed. Drink deeply of this dangerous wisdom. The cultivation of a scriptural memory is not a discipline to which Episcopalians willingly submit—yet by such practice we begin to view our world as one in which Jesus of Nazareth is not merely a character, but One who is standing at our very gates.
Lord, give us the desire and perseverance to be transformed by scripture, that we might await faithfully your coming, Amen.
Daniel P. Strandlund
Diocese of Alabama