Editor's note: "An uncommon Advent: the arrival of a Savior in our lives" is a sampling of biblical meditations composed by members of the Concordia University Wisconsin community. It is our prayer that you will take time during the Advent season to read and reflect upon God's Word and await the coming of Jesus with newfound anticipation and zeal through the Holy Spirit.
December 24 – Updating your status this advent
Isaiah 44:21-45:13, 20-25, Daniel 10:1-12:13, Isaiah 48:1-22, and Revelation 12:1-17
During Advent, many people reflect on the recent past and begin to focus on the upcoming year. The younger generation would consider this reviewing your status. Checking and updating one’s status can be associated with social media although there are some valuable lessons in knowing your personal status.
Such reflection may help us recognize we did not meet personal or spiritual goals. In that moment, it is often easier to blame everyone but ourselves. Others may perceive they have met most of their personal and spiritual goals and quickly take credit for their successes.
In checking the status of both groups, God would find us fallen short. When we don’t meet goals, it may appear as a loss but God can use that mightily. When we reach our goals, it is not due to our great powers but rather God’s grace and goodness. While there are numerous social media profiles which claim to be God, imagine if our Lord maintained a profile on Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat. His status might likely share how greatly He loves us in giving His only Son to die in our place. In fact, God shares His status frequently in His Scriptures.
Isaiah 44:24 makes it very clear. “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: ‘I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.” This passage reminds us of His sovereignty. This Scripture is imperative whenever we are tempted to reflect upon goals and successes—or even failures —we might perceive as simply within our own control or plan.
In Isaiah 48:17, God also reminds us He will lead us. “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.” This verse addresses when we do not meet the mark as God allows us a journey with potential for our growth and good. We meet the mark, not because of how great we are, but because of how great God is.
Today many will update a status on social media. By the power of the Holy Spirit, use the opportunity to proclaim how God “has gone viral” with His love for each of us in this world. Would He press the “like” button on your Advent status?
-Eugene Pitchford is the advisor to the Black Student Union and an assistant professor in the School of Education. He has served at Concordia since 2015. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.
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