The Rev. Dave Scheider Meditation

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Psalm 16, 17; Amos 5:1-17; Matthew 22:1-14


I still have the picture from the newspaper.  I was four and stood next to my pastor with my newly, hand-crafted Advent wreath displayed for all to admire.  The wreath itself was no work of art.  It was a simple cardboard circle with pine cones and acorns surrounding four candle holders, all spray painted in gold.  Yet that photo and my Advent wreath launched me into celebrity status with my older siblings. Somehow, because of the wreath, I felt that I was the proud sponsor of Advent, so I took the proceedings very seriously. One aspect of Advent that annoyed me was the choice of Gospel texts.  Toward the end of Advent, we finally got around to announcing the birth of Jesus.  “But who,” I wondered, “came up with the end of the world texts for the beginning of Advent?”  Our Gospel today is one of those verses.  It serves as a very loud and annoying alarm clock.  It shakes us out of our spiritual stupor to wake us up.  Something exciting is about to happen.  Get ready!  Certainly, Jesus is using some very tough love here.  But beneath the threat is the message from God, "You don't want to miss this!  I want you to be with me forever."

Gracious God, who sent your son to wake us from our spiritual sleep and invite us to a life filled with awe, love, and joy: Give us grace to freely and gladly respond and forsake our selfish ways that we may enter into the peace of your Kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, reigns forever. Amen.

The Rev. David Scheider, DMin

Director, Loise Henderson Wessendorff Center for Christian Ministry and Vocation
Seminary of the Southwest
CSS 2005