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 19 – A word of comfort

Isaiah 40: 1-17 & Revelation 7:1-17

Sometimes a few simple words or a kind action can bring great comfort in times of stress or difficulty. I can remember, both at the time of my mother’s death and years later at my father’s death, how some of my colleagues and dear friends from Concordia made the two-hour drive (four hours round trip!), to attend my parents’ visitations. This was of great comfort to me and an expression of their Christian concern for me. How much more so is the comfort offered by our Lord.

The two texts on which this devotion is based speak clearly of the comfort which God offers to us, as believers.

“Comfort, comfort, my people,” starts verse 1 of Isaiah 40, followed by, “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,” in verse 2. In verse 8 we read, “The word of our Lord will stand forever.” We need to recall in Advent, as we look forward to the coming of our Lord, that He is the Word of God, which will stand forever. And this Word is the comfort of our God’s salvation coming to us in His Son, for, as verse 11 states, “He will tend his flock like a shepherd.”

Verse 17 of Revelation 7 states, “The Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd and he will guide them to springs of living water and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

The comfort provided by friends and family is quite important in our lives. Yet the comfort our Lord provides, which we anticipate in Advent, is comfort for eternity, not just a season. For everlasting life, not just our life now. Abundant life, not the all-too-often hurried, hectic life of the present world.

What a magnificent Christmas present we anticipate—a present from God Himself in the form of His infant incarnate Son, Jesus Christ.

We believers are the new Jerusalem to which our Lord speaks tenderly, lovingly, with the comfort of sin forgiven, for the Shepherd has become the Lamb. And His sacrifice obtains our salvation, unearned in any way by us. Truly, we await the advent of joy to the world.

I pray in this season of Advent, you are blessed with the comfort of our Lord, amidst the pressures of an increasingly hectic world; the comfort, and peace, only He can provide.

-Dr. Brad Condie is Professor of Business in the Batterman School of Business and has served at Concordia since 1991. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.

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