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 5 – What arrives in your life each day?
Isaiah 11:1-12:6 and 2 Peter 2:1-22
During Advent, our focus can and should be on the arrival of our Savior. We anticipate His birth as a Bethlehem newborn and await our resurrected Savior’s second coming as well.
Yet what else arrives in your life on any given day? Consider both the basic and the banal: news headlines during traffic, the barrage of email, stressors of all varieties. Each can divert our attention in a “bold and willful” way (2 Peter 2:10).
It was September 11, 2001. I first learned of the terrorist attacks as I arrived at a school clinical site. As the day’s events unfolded, simple things felt overwhelming. People choked on unpalatable hopelessness. The pall mirrored the utter desolation Isaiah uses to describe the left-for-dead “stump” within a seemingly extinct forest.
Concordia did not formally cancel classes that day but rather left the decision up to faculty. Many chose to watch the startling news video footage, which by midday was simply being looped. I proceeded differently. Consciously, I decided not to forfeit and to hold my afternoon class exactly as planned. I began by explaining that in honor of those who had lost their lives that day—and for those who were still risking their lives in police, fire, and rescue efforts—I would not forfeit nor step down. While I held no control over most events that day, for those 80 minutes, I believe the class took comfort in learning amid the familiar and safe confines of that classroom.
God’s sovereignty and plan are bigger than the world’s deepest tragedies. Moreover, the unconquered and uncommon love of our Savior never forfeits in connecting the discordant elements of our lives according to His perfect will. Isaiah 11 underscores this as the seemingly dead stump has a shoot emerge in Jesus, through whom David’s throne is restored. The chapter continues with unlikely collaborations made possible only through Christ: the wolf with the lamb, the leopard with the goat, the cow and the bear—and their offspring as well (verses 6-7). While I may not control what arrives in my day, my Savior brought the day into existence and walks with me each moment.
Whatever arrives in your day today, it is my hope and prayer that you will recognize and rejoice over the arrival of Jesus, our Savior. He comes this Advent as he has come throughout our lives by the gift of His Word.
-Dr. Michael Uden serves as the Vice Provost, Student Enrollment and Engagement and has been with Concordia since 1998. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.
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