We post a Forward Day by Day Meditation for every day of the year - and we invite you to consider them and talk about them here. If you'd like to comment, please register for an account at Facebook. By checking the "Post to Facebook" box when commenting, you'll be able to find and quickly link back to this page from your Facebook account. You can also find the past week's Meditations in the box at right (or below, for mobile users), or search for previous entries on the Archives page.
Matthew 22:21. Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.
It is not easy to fit the swirling narrative of Jesus’ passion into the Advent season. Shouldn’t we be reading something a bit less severe, or even something sweet?
And then there is today’s reminder, right in the height of spending in a culture that is all about consumption. Most of us—and I am no exception—literally spend our Advent season shopping for Christmas. We are giving to the mall the things that are the emperor’s, and we have convinced ourselves that this is an appropriate way to keep Advent and celebrate Christmas.
I often wish we could separate Christmas giving from Christmas. Maybe I just need to learn to be generous in a different way, but I find it stressful to figure out the gifts, to say nothing of the strain on the budget. I was delighted last year when the staff of Forward Movement presented me with a Christmas gift that solved this worry: they donated money to Episcopal Relief & Development’s Nets for Life® program. Support of God’s work on earth seems like a great way to celebrate the birth of God’s son.
Today the Church remembers Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, 397.