John Bennet & The Rev. Margaret Waters Meditation

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Psalm 20, 21:1-7; Amos 5:18-27; Matthew 22:15-22


Black Friday marked the beginning of the season in which we probably handle more coins than any other month of the year. And bills. And when we swipe more credit cards and click our online orders, if we are like most Americans all this activity serves a vision of fulfillment on Christmas morning written more by Macy’s and Martha Stewart than by an evangelist.

Matthew’s account of the confrontation of the Pharisees and Jesus is a reminder that the coinage of the empire is an invitation into idolatry.

Advent is the season of preparation not for a gift-wrapped extravaganza but for the coming of God incarnate to transform our lives. As we navigate the customs and expectations of this season, what would it be like to hold each bauble up to the light, look for whose image it portrays, and test it to see if it is an idol which we might lay aside to create space for the Christ child to take up habitation in our lives? 

Give us the eyes to see the true meaning of the Coming of our Lord, the will to ignore the barrage of temptations now upon us, and the heart to love each other as the needed gift of today.  Amen.

John Bennet & The Rev. Margaret Waters
Retired, Seminary of the Southwest & Rector, St. Alban’s Episcopal, Austin, TX
MDiv 2000