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 13 – Advent anticipation
Isaiah 29:15-30:14 and Revelation 1:1-20
Anticipation. It is evident in the classrooms of Concordia University during finals week. Some students see the greater prize as they anticipate the end of the semester or perhaps the culmination of an entire educational and degree journey. Other students see only the exam before them on the desk and the clock foretelling their exit from the classroom.
Advent is most certainly a season of anticipation. As we anticipate Christmas, we witness people waiting, from the joyful and at times wearisome questions expressed by children who seemingly cannot wait, to the eager expectations of our family eager to reunite for happy times, laughter and sharing. We certainly anticipate this season of Christmas, of celebrating Christ here on earth!
In the midst of this glad season, we may turn to Isaiah, the gospel of the Old Testament, which gives pause and caution as he recalls the Israelites and their desire to take control without heeding God’s word. We too, need Jesus, Prophet, Priest and King, remembering His birth, perfect life, death and resurrection for our sins. Is our anticipation about celebrating our Savior or a hollow and temporary celebration? Perhaps our Advent expectation is not filled with joy but rather with loneliness, as we recall the loss of a loved one or the fear of a pending family Christmas conflict. Our world is broken, but we can turn our minds to Jesus: the beautiful baby in a manger! Do we look forward to His final coming? Do we hope that he may come soon, as the ancient people prayed, or are we more inclined to pray for what we want and need today?
Isaiah reminds us of our shortsighted and rebellious nature. Like the Israelites, we forget quickly who our Savior is because we want what we want now! John tells us in Revelation how we may rejoice because of all that Christ has done. We are His own, and the rest of the story is complete. The Lutheran Study Bible notes summarizes Revelation 1:9-20 nicely: His first coming resulted in forgiveness and life for you, and His second coming will perfect the new creation.
Lord Jesus, lead us to read, hear, and keep the message You revealed through John, for it tells about our final hope, even life eternal in Your presence. Amen.
–Sandra Jahns is a communications faculty member in the School of Arts and Sciences and has served full time at Concordia since 2010. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.
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