Rev. Kathleen Russell

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Psalm: 31; Haggai 1:1-15; Matthew 23:27-39

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13 , 2013  

Today’s Gospel, in which Jesus minces no words in taking hypocrites to task and laments over Jerusalem, challenges the sentimental gestalt of our culture’s run up to Christmas and our resistance to owning up to our own failure, sin and fear of judgment.  Where is the good news here?  Perhaps it lies in remembering that God’s judgment is itself under judgment, not judgment in the sense of condemnation but judgment as decision.   For God’s decision for humanity is one of hope, fidelity and grace in the gift of Jesus Christ. It is in this gift, that mother hen whose wings are always open and welcoming, offering protection and shelter from the dangers of the world and of ourselves, that we take our comfort and our purpose.  

Christ, we stand before you: Bereft of righteousness, bringing our emptiness, Facing the uselessness of our facades,Regretting those moments when we turned away from your forgiveness and grace. Embrace us now and draw us ever closer to that heart that beats at one with God. Amen.  

The Rev. Kathleen Russell, DMin
Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology
Seminary of the Southwest