Support the Café

Search our Site

Speaking to the Soul: The Tail End

Speaking to the Soul: The Tail End

Week of Advent 3, Year One

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:

Psalms 119:49-72 (morning) // 49, [53] (evening)

Isaiah 9:8-17

2 Peter 2:1-10a

Mark 1:1-8

The apocalyptic tone of our readings this morning suits our movement through the last days of Advent and the tail end of the calendar year. The most critical task in these days is distinguishing true leaders and prophets from false and deceptive ones. Using severe imagery, the prophet Isaiah recalls a day when the Lord once “cut off from Israel head and tail,” explaining that “elders and dignitaries are the head, and prophets who teach lies are the tail.” The reason for the severance is that “those who led this people led them astray, and those who were led by them were left in confusion.”

The author of our second reading reminds us that, as with the tails of lizards, the tail of false prophets may grow back. The letter warns that such prophets and teachers “will secretly bring in destructive opinions.” Further, “in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words.”

The season of Advent reminds us, year after year, that throughout all human history we have both heads and tails to fear. There is always a beast lurking in our world, using us as its members. The beast has heads that lead us astray. The tail of this beast, comprising lying prophets, may sting, exploit, and destroy us. The Advent call to keep awake and to watch is not only for the coming of Christ, but also for the presence of all that Christ will judge and oppose.

Lora Walsh blogs about the Daily Office readings at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with adult formation and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café