Friday, December 9
Isaiah 26:1-19 and 1 John 3:1-24
We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. (1 John 3:11-14)
It’s painful to be confronted with our sins. As a parent, my patience is tested. There are times when I yell at my kids, and on occasion, my frustration rises to the point that a bad word slips out. When my child points out my sin, my gut reaction may be to ignore them or even to place the blame on whatever they had done to drain my last drops of patience. Instead of following my initial impulses, I have to humble myself before God and my child to repent of my sin and ask for their forgiveness.
As a redeemed child of God, I understand the benefits of God’s law, and still, my first impulse, when confronted with my sin, is to cast the blame onto others or to become defensive. Is it any surprise the world does the same? If we live according to God’s law, we shine a light on the sin of the world. In the same way that Cain hated his brother’s righteousness, so does the world hate us. If you are like me, this is hard because I want to be loved and accepted, not face the wrath and ridicule of the world. Take heart, my friends: the world hated Christ first.
We have passed from death into life with Christ and under His righteousness, let us repent when we fail to love one another. When we repent, we know that God has already forgiven us through the life of Jesus. His birth reminds us that our sins have been placed on Christ alone so that we can live under forgiveness, not the cloud of guilt. May God give us the strength to do this through Christ as we receive His gifts through Word and Sacrament in His Church this Advent season.
DR. JUSTIN SPECK
School of Arts & Sciences, CUW
About this series
“Advent Anticipation: the arrival of our Savior” is a sampling of biblical meditations composed by members of the CUWAA 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 enthusiasm and anticipation through the Holy Spirit.