Editor's note: "A pandemic advent: the arrival of a Savior for all" 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 – Grief relief in an uncommon community of believers

Isaiah 11:1–12:6, 2 Peter 2:1–22

The past year is a blur. In fact, as I look in the rearview mirror of my life, the past few years are a bit blurry. Conversely, looking forward, there is joyful anticipation of Christ’s birth. I love Jesus Christ my Savior, and I look forward to His arrival and pray for the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Yet I am slowly coming out of a fog of grief and overwhelming activity. Three years ago, I lost my brother to cancer. This summer both of my parents passed. These represent colossal changes to my small close-knit family. After losing my brother, I completed the Colloquy course for Lutheran ministry and then went on to two years of doctoral coursework…as a full-time instructor…during the pandemic. It has been exhausting in every way.

The Concordia community, however, has demonstrated its uncommon nature. With heartfelt thanks, I praise God for Concordia, an uncommon community of believers with which I have been blessed. The many emails, kind words, and stack of cards provide needed encouragement. Even more so, their ongoing prayers keep me grounded in hope. My colleagues continue to share God’s word, and so I also encourage you to read the scriptures provided for today.

The Bible provides great comfort to all who grieve and to sinners like myself. Isaiah repeatedly shares how the Messiah will make our path clear and how Christ’s perfect righteousness is a comfort to believers. Our Messiah, a mystery beyond human comprehension, intercedes for us, and He is the sprout (Isaiah 11: 1), the little shoot that rises up out of desolation and death. He changes everything as the calf and lion lie down together (Isaiah 11:6)!

Second Peter reaffirms our confidence in Christ alone. Two thousand years ago, the Bible told us to be prepared for a world that seeks sensual pleasures and denies Christ (2 Peter: 1-3). Isn’t that the world we live in today? As Christians, we know that our Savior has overcome this sinful world full of grief. That little shoot—His arrival— wells up in joy and hope as we rejoice and prepare for Christmas once more. And I for one intend to celebrate Him and the Christmas season fully. Please join me.

SANDRA JAHNS is the Assistant to the Dean of Arts & Sciences and has served at Concordia since 2009



View a full schedule of “The arrival of a Savior for all”  readings here.

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