In the Lectionary

December 10, Advent 2B (Isaiah 40:1–11; Mark 1:1–8)

There is a clear distinction between being comfortable and receiving comfort.

I serve as a college pastor at a small, denominational, liberal arts college. A frequent topic of conversation among faculty, administration, and student support staff members is the question of the institution’s responsibility toward maintaining the comfort of our students. Not merely their physical comfort but their intellectual, emotional, and spiritual comfort.

This current generation of college students is uniquely resilient, having emerged through the COVID pandemic. These students have lived in a time when talking about mental health is encouraged and not taboo. They have learned the language of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Influenced by the Me Too movement, they have cultivated an appreciation for clear boundaries, they care deeply about consent, they have strong ideals regarding justice, and they possess strong moral opinions about right and wrong, good and evil.

These students are in touch with their beliefs, their needs, and their visions for an ideal world. This is most certainly a good thing.