Friday, December 23
Isaiah 43:25-44:20 and Revelation 11:1-19
As we prepare for Christmas, I often find myself caught up in my “to-do” list for the season: cookies to bake, presents to wrap, a tree to decorate. All of these activities are meaningful and wonderful traditions. My four grandchildren (and if we are honest, their grown-up parents!) are all as excited as it is possible to be. One of their very favorite things this time of year is watching the many “holiday” shows, the same ones that I also watched and loved many years ago. These include Frosty the Snowman, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and The Grinch who Stole Christmas. The Grinch is a particular favorite, and Mr. Grinch’s experience, while definitely not explicitly focused on Christ, relates well to today’s text from Isaiah. As the Grinch learns, Christmas without a roast beast or presents beneath the tree is still Christmas. That’s because, as we know, Christmas isn’t really about all those delightful trimmings. It’s about the birth of Jesus and about what happens as a result of our Savior’s arrival into our world.
Our Christmas traditions are certainly beautiful and meaningful. Yet, it’s easy to make those lovely experiences into idols. Isaiah 44:9 states “All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless.” The passage goes on to describe how a blacksmith and a carpenter each created an idol (the blacksmith with his hammer, and the carpenter with his chisel), and to remind us that “such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him” (Isaiah 44:20). What idols do we make? Do we sometimes confuse the focus on Jesus with the midwinter holiday trappings of lights, trees, desserts and presents?
In this season of Advent, as we prepare for His coming, let us not forget why we are so excited. Let us remember who is coming and why He comes. Isaiah 43:25 clearly reminds us of this: “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins”. Our sins are not only forgiven, but actually forgotten! What a gift! Nothing under the tree can compare.
DR. LEAH DVORAK
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.